Lack of parking spaces at well-used station criticised

Motorists given fines for parking on the slope down to the platform in the northbound car park at Alnmouth Station.
Motorists given fines for parking on the slope down to the platform in the northbound car park at Alnmouth Station.

A frustrated driver who was given a parking ticket at Alnmouth Station has criticised the ‘woeful inadequacy’ of spaces.

George Martin, from Amble, wrote to the Gazette to complain about the situation after he, and other motorists, were fined last Wednesday.

He said that those who received a penalty had left their vehicles parked on the western edge of the northbound platform car park.

While he admits that there are no permitted parking bays in the area in question, he said that there was plenty of space to leave the vehicles and they were not causing an obstruction.

Northumberland County Council, which runs the car park, said that signage states that vehicles must be parked within a marked bay.

Mr Martin isn’t the first person to complain about receiving a fine for parking in this way. And it once again raises the thorny issue of parking at the station, with many motorists having to spill out onto nearby streets because of a lack of space in the car parks – to the annoyance of local residents.

In an email to the Gazette, Mr Martin wrote: ‘I was one of at least 16 car owners fined by the county council because we were parked beyond the bay markings. Due to the woeful inadequacy of parking spaces, I and the others were forced to park along the western edge of the car-park area.

‘There are no bays marked out there, but there is loads of space. None of these cars was causing an obstruction and there are no yellow lines there.

‘I’d advise all the people given fines to park in the streets nearby and advise the protesting householders in these streets that the county council would rather force the travelling public on to the spaces outside their houses than to park unobtrusively in the car park.’

On a separate day last month, another motorist criticised the authority for dishing out tickets, saying that ‘all 15 cars parked on the ramp – not really affecting anyone – were given tickets’, adding: ‘The parking officer must have thought it was Christmas’.

A county council spokeswoman said: “Our car-park signs clearly state that you must park within a marked bay. This is the case in all of our car parks covered by a traffic regulation order where bay markings are present.”

She added that cars parking on the western edge can obstruct the footpath.