A meeting for rail users to discuss upcoming changes to the parking regime at Alnmouth Station is taking place next week.
The Alnmouth Rail Users Group (ARUG) has organised the event, which starts at 8pm in St James’ Church Hall, Alnwick, on Thursday, November 15.
It follows the news that parking charges are to be introduced in the Northumberland County Council-owned northbound platform car park at the well-used station.
The local authority reported in September that the daily fee of £1.50 is likely to come into force by mid-December, while a 72-hour maximum stay restriction, with no return within six hours, is already in place.
The southbound platform car park, managed by Network Rail, remains free and with no time restrictions.
The changes, which aim to tackle parking and congestion problems in and around the station, will be monitored and a formal review will take place in 12 months’ time.
Earlier this year, residents were invited to a special drop-in event to give their views on the trial parking arrangements, which prompted around 100 responses and two petitions.
On the back of this, the council listened to feedback and tweaked some of its initial proposals.
Respondents said that a £3-a-day parking charge was too high, so this has been reduced to £1.50.
Plus, a proposal to implement a residents’ permit scheme in Hipsburn lacked support, so the authority decided not to go ahead with this, but to install single-yellow lines, to restrict on-street parking from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Although rail users were not excluded from the consultation event in Lesbury Village Hall, they have not been directly consulted, for example, through ARUG or at the station.
A statement from ARUG said: “The changes may have effects on the use of the station, stopping patterns of trains and eventually the economy of the area.
“The outcome of an ARUG survey indicated that rail users were concerned and welcomed a meeting to air their views and get information.
“Coun Robbie Moore will attend the meeting and will inform rail users about planned parking charges at the station.
“It is an opportunity to ask the county council questions and to show that there is a very large number of rail users who will be affected by parking changes at and around the station.
“We urge all rail users who use Alnmouth Station to attend the meeting.”
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service