Parking or planters to tackle Cobbles issue?

Cars parked on the Cobbles in Bondgate Within, Alnwick.
Cars parked on the Cobbles in Bondgate Within, Alnwick.

Alnwick Town Council favours more parking as the county council bids to tackle parking problems on a ‘confusing’ area of the Cobbles.

Northumberland County Council is consulting on changes to the section of the Cobbles where the car park tapers to a point near the Bondgate Tower, due to the old Wagon Way service road.

The two options are to remove the double-yellow lines so that cars can park all the way from the tower or to install planters and bike racks in the area which causes the issues at the moment.

A majority of town councillors favoured the former due to the need for extra parking in the town, but there were some dissenting voices though, as Coun Sue Patience believes it should be considered as part of a wider plan. “I get frustrated that we look at everything so piecemeal in Alnwick.”

Meanwhile, Couns Martin Swinbank and Peter Edge felt that increasing parking would not enhance the town and that encouraging cyclists would reduce cars in the town centre.

Prior to their debate, members heard representations from businessman Stephen Bell, whose Bell and Sons menswear shop is located in that area and who was accompanied by Chamber of Trade chairman Carlo Biagioni.

“It’s been a very long-running problem,” Mr Bell said. “The businesses would like to more parking and have herring-bone parking all the way up to Julie’s flower shop where there is a proper entrance (to the Cobbles).”

Amended priorities for funding

Town councillors have agreed to submit an amended set of priorities to go into the pot for funding through the county council’s Local Transport Plan for 2017/18.

This follows advice from county council officers who indicated that a more focused selection of priorities was required.

Following discussion at the town council’s planning and transport committee, members agreed that the three priorities should be improvements to the Cobbles; a pedestrian crossing at the Co-op on Wagonway Road and extending the pavement from Willowburn Avenue up towards Fairfields.

County councillors Gordon Castle and Heather Cairns have submitted the same priorities.