New restrictions start in Northumberland car parks this weekend

A 24-hour limit will be coming into force in long-stay car parks in Northumberland, such as Greenwell Lane part B in Alnwick, pictured.
A 24-hour limit will be coming into force in long-stay car parks in Northumberland, such as Greenwell Lane part B in Alnwick, pictured.

Further restrictions in car parks across Northumberland are due to come into force on Saturday.

Maximum stays are to be implemented from December 1 in all long-stay car parks which currently have no time limits in a bid to stop people ‘garaging’ their cars for long periods, freeing up much-needed spaces.

To ensure that places are not blocked by people parking for an extended period, limits of 24 hours in town centres and 72 hours in all other areas are to apply.

In town centres, the limit will be 24 hours with no return within four hours, while elsewhere, the 72-hour limit – which has already been introduced at Alnmouth Station – will be no return within six hours.

The change comes as part of a raft of measures to improve parking across Northumberland, backed by a £10million funding pot.

The introduction of a 24-hour limit was included in the actions plans – drawn up in consultation with local stakeholders – for Alnwick, Berwick, Hexham and Morpeth, which were the result of independent studies commissioned by the county council for each of the four market towns.

The move will likely be welcomed in Alnwick in particular, where the recent loss of one long-stay car park in favour of short-stay spaces at Greenwell Lane has increased the pressure on long-stay spaces for workers in the town looking to park all day.

Last month, a call to introduce workers’ parking permits in Alnwick, backed by an almost 400-name petition, was rejected.

When discussed by the council’s petitions committee, the imminent 24-hour maximum stay restrictions were highlighted as one of the measures which meant that the permits were not the best way forward in the local authority’s view.

A recent council update also revealed that work is ongoing to establish whether seasonal time limits may be appropriate in Alnwick town centre, while discussions are taking place over potential new car-parking sites, such as the former Duchess’s High School site and the St Michael’s school field.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service