Parking chaos sees blood-donor session cancelled

The blood-donor lorry Alnwick Market Place.
The blood-donor lorry Alnwick Market Place.

Dozens of people wanting to give blood and help save lives had to be turned away today due to illegal parking in Alnwick Market Place.

A session was due to take place in the Northumberland Hall, but when the NHS Blood and Transplant team arrived, it was unable to park and unload its equipment.

Donors, who attend the session from not just Alnwick but all around the region, therefore had to be turned away.

One resident of the town, Bill McDonald, who was due to give blood today, described the situation as ‘absolutely scandalous’.

A spokeswoman for NHS Blood and Transplant offered an applogy to donors ‘for any inconvenience this has caused’.

It comes as Alnwick awaits a new parking regime for the Market Place, which would see parking and loading bays installed.

The square is supposed to be under the restriction of ‘prohibition of driving except for loading’. While the county council now has responsibility for parking enforcement, it is classed as a ‘moving’ traffic offence and not a parking offence and therefore enforcement remains with the police. However, the offence is very difficult to enforce as the vehicles need to be seen coming in or out of the Market Place.

The legal order for the new parking regulations is due to come into force on Monday, June 2.

For full story, see Thursday’s Northumberland Gazette.