Wooler car parking shake-up planned with council set to make £100,000 investment

Significant changes to parking arrangements are being planned in Wooler.
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A £106,000 investment by Northumberland County Council was approved by cabinet members on Tuesday.

It is planned to convert the Padgepool Place and Riverside car parks from long stay to short stay.

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The latter will also be resurfaced with marked bays at an estimated cost of £30,000 and two rapid electric vehicle chargers installed at a cost of £70,000.

Padgepool Place in Wooler. Picture: GooglePadgepool Place in Wooler. Picture: Google
Padgepool Place in Wooler. Picture: Google

A parking order will also be created to allow enforcement of parking rules on the site of the former Wooler First School, with the rest of the allocated funds to be used for new signage.

Cll John Riddle, cabinet member for improving roads, said: “There has been a lot of money spent on Wooler. The place is buzzing.

“Wooler is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and with the opening of the Ad Gefrin visitor centre and distillery, we're seeing a steady rise in visitor numbers.

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“To support local businesses, we want visitors to spend time in Wooler, to enjoy themselves and to leave with a positive impression. Having adequate car parking is fundamental to the visitor experience.”

The council has also revealed that £400,000 earmarked to support the development of a new 'countryside' car park at the historic Ad Gefrin site near Kirknewton is now expected to be progressed with external funding.

A report to members stated: ‘Padgepool Place and Riverside car parks are currently long-stay, allowing vehicles to park for up to 24 hours. Both car parks are used by walkers accessing the surrounding countryside. This means they are generally full all day. This low turnover of spaces can have an adverse effect on the town centre economy.

‘The former Wooler First School was made available for use for parking in order to cater for both the existing long stay visitor demand and the expected increase in demand following the opening of ‘Ad Gefrin’. As things stand, however, visitors will often use Padgepool Place or Riverside as they are reached before the former first school site.

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‘Riverside car park is particularly likely to be used by visitors to ‘Ad Gefrin’ due to its close proximity. To ensure long stay visitors use the former first school site, it is proposed to implement short stay time limits in Padgepool Place and Riverside.

‘This will provide greater turnover which will benefit local shops and services and will maximise use of the former first school, leading to greater value for money from the investment already made.’

It is expected that the proposals would be implemented during the first two quarters of 2024-25.