Residents' parking scheme options to be assessed for Northumberland coastal village
Alnmouth councillors are keen to take the next step towards the possible introduction of a residents’ parking scheme.
They plan to ask Northumberland County Council to evaluate the potential for a hybrid scheme where residents who pay for a permit can park at any time while visitors can have a limited stay.
At the same time, the parish council plans to ask 24 residents currently unable to park outside their homes whether they would be willing to pay the £50 annual fee for two permits.
Cllr Shaun Whyte, chairman, said: “The problem we have is the complication that people who might want resident parking probably want that on the street on which they don’t live.
"It’s the very nature of the physical development within Alnmouth over the centuries. There are roads that haven’t got the capacity to accept car parking.”
Cllr Eddie McKee, who has been leading the public consultation process, said there were 194 marked parking bays.
He felt more car parking was needed and favoured bringing an area below Dr Joy’s Garden back into use.
Cllr Whyte responded: “There are two issues. One is a resident parking scheme of some description within the village and the other is whether we go down the route of trying to find suitable sites for a new car park.
"I hesitate about the possibility of Dr Joy’s. I know there was one 40-50 years ago, but there’s a memorial garden there looking over the estuary. How many residents or indeed visitors would like to be looking out over a car park?”
Cllr Ed Williams said: “Car parks are a bit of a red herring because they don’t directly improve the situation for residents. You can’t ask a resident to park near the school, for example. Any out-of-town car park, wherever it is, will only come into some use when everything is saturated in the village.
"Most people would want to park somewhere near there homes and that kind of dictates the Northumberland Street area so a hybrid scheme might be the way to proceed if there is demand for it.”
Cllr Simon Welford added: “If they are not prepared to pay £50 a year then it fails at the first hurdle.”