Northumberland County Council approves extra parking for Morpeth and Ashington to help commuters, travellers and residents
Additional parking spaces are to be created in Morpeth and Ashington after county councillors signed off on more than £200,000 of funding.
An extra car park to provide much-needed additional spaces at Morpeth railway station was given the green light in May.
The planning application for the 27-space site, across Coopies Lane from the station building, was approved by the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council.
There is currently a Northern Rail-owned car park directly adjacent to the station, which charges £3 to park all day, as well as a council car park further down on Coopies Lane, which was free, but a £3 all-day fee has now been introduced in order to help fund the development of new spaces.
Despite these two car parks, there remains significant pressure on spaces for commuters and other travellers, with reports of problems and disruption in housing estates in the surrounding area.
Northumberland County Council’s cabinet has approved £147,000 for the construction of the new car park.
A further opportunity has been identified to extend the council’s existing car park by using adjacent derelict land, which could result in another 12 spaces.
£10,000 will be spent on design and planning work, including discussions with landowner Network Rail, as consent for the acquisition has not yet been granted.
In Ashington, a total of £50,000 has been agreed in relation to the Station Yard and John Street parking areas.
It is estimated that a reorganisation of the Station Yard car park could create up to 37 extra spaces, increasing its capacity from 113 to 150.
Meanwhile, the surface of the parking area in John Street is to be resurfaced and bays marked to maximise capacity, with a footpath created so that people do not have to walk in the road.
The money will come from the £10million set aside for parking improvements across the county, of which £5.22million has been committed so far.
Coun Richard Wearmouth said: “I’m very pleased to see the Morpeth Station one come about. We have an increase in services stopping at the station so it’s really necessary that we get that done.
“In Ashington, this has come up relatively recently through the Ashington Forum, so that’s good as well.”