Whitley Bay residents petition for permit parking to end “chaos”

Families on a Whitley Bay street have resorted to asking for permit parking after years of visitor parking “chaos”.

By Austen Shakespeare
Monday, 16th May 2022, 11:22 am
Sycamore Avenue, in Whitley Bay, where local residents are complaining about unsafe parking on the streets around the ice rink when the venue is in use.
Sycamore Avenue, in Whitley Bay, where local residents are complaining about unsafe parking on the streets around the ice rink when the venue is in use.

Neighbours on Sycamore Avenue say they have ongoing parking problems due to their proximity to Whitley Bay Ice Rink, Whitley Bay Football Club and Whitley Bay Cricket Club.

The families of Sycamore Avenue and the surrounding streets say they regularly have to cope with excess parking demand from visitors, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays.

Sally Halliday, who has set up a petition, said it had been a decade-long struggle with parking.

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David Crandle who is supporting a petition to get permit parking around the area.

Ms Halliday, who bought her home in 2012, said: “I didn’t drive then but it was always busy. But it was not half as bad as it is now.

“There have been times on a Sunday where if you’re not in your house by half past three you will not get in your street or the surrounding area.

“The point we have got to now is putting bins out in the street to save spaces”

Ms Halliday stated there have been times where people attending a match or the ice rink have even been abusive.

“It is stressful, I have put notes on people’s cars and people are shouting and arguing with you and it’s really stressful. People are not bothered.”

Another Sycamore Avenue resident, Helen Rodriguez, said she was verbally abused by a man when he attempted to take her parking spot to attend a hockey match.

She added that parking on the street is “absolutely disgraceful”.

“On a Saturday or Sunday, residents cannot get parked on their own streets, and it’s not just this street, it’s all the way down Hillheads Road.

“I’m in full support of the petition, lots of people are, everybody has been complaining about it.”

Other residents close by expressed concerns regarding access for emergency vehicles at peak parking times on Saturday and Sunday.

Kirsty Dawson, of The Nook, said: “God forbid anyone has a heart attack or is in desperate need of an ambulance.

“It has been a nightmare for the last 20 years. It’s ridiculous when you can’t park outside your own house.”

Sara Carr, of Sycamore Avenue, said: “Parking in this street is crazy, if the wall in the first cul-de-sac was removed and widened like we petitioned, they did the other two cul-de-sacs, then it would release some congestion from the main street.

“An ambulance or bin truck struggles to get along the street and when there’s an event at the ice rink you have no chance of getting parked on your own street which is unacceptable.

“Is it going to take an accident before something is done?”

Another resident, David Cradle, who only moved to Sycamore Avenue 18 months ago, has had his bins moved by motorists to create a parking space outside his own house.

Mr Cradle also witnessed how such parking could endanger the most vulnerable from his living room.

“Just outside of here you have got double yellow lines and we have got a pavement,” said Mr Cradle. “[A vehicle] was on the double yellow lines by the junction, and there was a lady in a mobility scooter that couldn’t get around because there was not enough room. She had to go down the main road.”

Mr Cradle’s daughter, Grace said: “It is absolute chaos. I’m supporting the petition 100%, it would be so much better if we got permit parking. I think it’s a good idea that she set up the petition.”

In response to the petition, Coun Sandra Graham, Cabinet Member for Environment at North Tyneside Council, said: “The council is aware of a petition raised by residents in Whitley Bay and we are committed to listening to the views of residents.

“Our Traffic and Road Safety Team are already in the process of carrying out a parking assessment in the local area to see if parking measures would be appropriate.

“Once the petition has closed, we will contact the lead petitioner to gather further detail from them which will be used to consider expanding the assessment if necessary.

“If the assessment shows that parking restrictions are necessary, we will consult local residents on proposals. No measures would be introduced unless a majority of residents are in favour.”

At the time of writing the petition had 27 signatures and was due to close on May 13.