Potential for extra parking at Northumberland beauty spot explored

Cars parked on verges by the junction at High Buston.Cars parked on verges by the junction at High Buston.
Cars parked on verges by the junction at High Buston.
Councillors have raised the possibility of extra parking being provided on a popular part of the Northumberland coast.

The dunes at High Buston, situated between Alnmouth and Warkworth, have long been a popular spot for visitors and dog walkers.

However, parking has become more of an issue since Northumberland Estates closed the private beach access road due to concerns about illegal camping, overnight parking, anti-social behaviour and littering in summer 2020.

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The issue came up for discussion at a recent meeting of Alnmouth Parish Council when members voiced frustration at the grass verges on a nearby junction being chewed up by cars parking there.

A small car park by the railway arch at High Buston.A small car park by the railway arch at High Buston.
A small car park by the railway arch at High Buston.

Cllr Martin Swinbank, member for Alnwick ward, on Northumberland County Council, felt the small car park near the railway arch could potentially be developed.

"I had a look at it the other day,” he said. “It’s small and tight to get in and out of but I would say if it was opened up a bit more to the road – and Storm Arwen has started that process – you could accommodate a lot more cars.

"I also suspect that at the moment some people are a little bit hesitant about parking there because it’s such an enclosed space.

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"Obviously we would have to find funding to be able to do it but if we do put bollards down at the junction the risk is that people will just park further up the verge so there might be some manoeuvring done to see if we can get that car park improved a bit.

"But I don’t know what the local people would think of that so it’s something we’d need to ask.”

The parish council has already asked Northumberland County Council to investigate potential ways of managing the problem.

Cllr Shaun Whyte, parish council chairman, said: “It is one of the requests we’ve made to the county council through its Local Transport Plan

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“We didn’t want to encourage people to park there and then cross what is a very busy road to get down to the dunes now that they can’t drive down the track which was closed by Northumberland Estates.

"We left it in their (county council) hands. It may well be bollards around the grass verges to stop people parking in there.

"We won’t find out until the first quarter of the year whether it is one of the projects Northumberland County Council are going to take forward but we have asked for some method of managing it.”

Cllr Simon Rushton pointed out: “The car park under the railway arches will probably take as many cars as would park there (on the grass verge) anyway. That car park will take maybe eight cars so it’s merely a matter of discouraging people from parking on the junction and reminding them there is a car park under the railway arch.”

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“It’s a possibility but the risk is you just shift the problem elsewhere,” Cllr Whyte responded. “There is a lay-by on the main Warkworth road just further along and people may park there if they can’t park on the junction.”

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Illegal camping and anti-social behaviour lead to road closure at Northumberland...

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