Major traffic review launched on Northumberland coast after influx of visitors puts 'stress' on area

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Measures to combat traffic problems on parts of the Northumberland coast are being considered.

Concerns about the situation in places like Boulmer, Seaton Point and Howick have been raised by Longhoughton Parish Council which has now launched a major traffic review, with guidance from Northumberland County Council.

Cllr Eleanor Phillips, parish council chairman, said: “In places like Boulmer, Seaton Point, Howdiemont Sands in Longhoughton and at Seahouses Farm corner, near Howick, the volume of vehicles is much higher than in living memory and has placed significant stress on the services and the local population as well as creating a road safety hazard.”

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The council is keen to address the situation given the possibility that Covid-19 may be around for some time and the trend for Northumberland staycations.

Parking congestion in Boulmer.Parking congestion in Boulmer.
Parking congestion in Boulmer.

In Longhoughton, the review will include examining Beach Road that runs through Low Steads Farm to the coast at Howdiemont Sands.

The council says that over 90 vehicles per day now regularly visiting this beach and this is making it difficult for the farming operations at the farm. They say the speed of traffic down the narrow coastal lane is also causing a safety hazard to pedestrians who are walking to the beach.

At Boulmer, residents are currently considering parking restrictions and have been working with the county council to identify what is appropriate. More off-road parking is being considered but it will take time to put this in place.

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"We appreciate that residents cannot be expected to put up with the present parking free for all,” added Cllr Phillips in a letter to residents.

The number of visitors Howdiemont Sands has caused traffic issues.The number of visitors Howdiemont Sands has caused traffic issues.
The number of visitors Howdiemont Sands has caused traffic issues.

The scheme would involve double yellow lines throughout the 30mph zone on both sides of the road for a 12-month experiment. Resident parking bays would be created at various points, with free permits issued.

At Howick, the council says the coastal road has been inundated with parked traffic on verges and corners which is causing a serious road safety hazard. A similar situation applies at Seaton Point.

Longhoughton Parish Council recognises that other parts of the coast are experiencing the same problems and have called for them to work together on common strategies, perhaps though the AONB partnership committee.

A message from the Editor:

A view of BoulmerA view of Boulmer
A view of Boulmer

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