Resident parking permit scheme under consideration in Northumberland coastal village

Alnmouth councillors are weighing up the pros and cons of a resident parking permit scheme.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 4:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2021, 4:06 pm

Some streets in the village are too narrow to allow parking so the parish council is investigating the potential for those residents to be able to park on nearby streets.

Cllr Shaun Whyte, chairman, said: "Parking is extremely difficult in Alnmouth and the problem we have is that there are a number of roads on which you can’t park because they’re too narrow.

"Obviously, residents within those properties might, in an ideal world, appreciate parking permits on another road.

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Northumberland Street in Alnmouth.

"We’re still very much at a preliminary stage, gathering information and gauging demand so no decision has been made.”

The area in and around Northumberland Street was the focus of discussion at the council’s monthly meeting.

Cllr Ed Williams said: “The difficulty we have is that there’s about eight streets involved and they are clustered around Northumberand Street.

"The logic is that the best place to find parking spaces would be Northumberland Street which happens to be the main trading street.”

Cllr Mac McHugh said: “I would guess that all the businesses on Northumberland Street would object to people from side streets having parking spaces.

"People who bought places in the likes of Garden Terrace knew exactly what they were buying into. It’s a minority of people who keep rattling the cage.

"There are areas of the village where you could have herring-bone parking.”

Cllr Williams responded: “When you buy a house you make compromises unless you’re super rich and, in Alnmouth, one of the compromises you are forced to make quite often is the lack of parking space.

"I don’t think we should penalise people for buying those properties and people I’ve spoken to do suffer great hardship when they’re unable to park anywhere near their house, be that a car full of children or their weekly shopping.”

Cllr Gordon Castle, local ward member on Northumberland County Council, suggested a hybrid scheme could be suitable.

"Those hybrid schemes have worked well in parts of Alnwick where residents who pay for a permit can park at any time while visitors can have a limited stay and that can work out well for businesses,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Richard McKenzie, a highways officer at Northumberland County Council, who outlined some of the options.

Residents and businesses on the streets would have to be consulted and roughly three-quarters would have to be in favour for it to work.

A maximum of two permits per household are allowed: one linked to a specific vehicle and another for visitors. They are £25 each per year.

"We need to be careful about how much space there is on Northumberland Street,” advised Mr McKenzie. “If everyone on side streets got a permit and then found they couldn’t park because it is full they might get a bit cheesed off.

"Another issue to flag up in a historic, sensitive area like Alnmouth is that it potentially could mean lots of little signs on the streetscape.”

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