Traders at Amble believe its parking woes can be eased by making some loading bays available to cars.
They are urging the county council to take action, but have been told funds will not be available before April 2013.
Members of Amble Business Club hope to work with county highways officers on a scheme now so it could go ahead when the cash is there.
Ann Burke said action must go well beyond high street bays. “The problem is Amble needs more parking,” she told club members.