Stalemate in consultation

Cars parked at Alnmouth Railway Station
Cars parked at Alnmouth Railway Station

Residents living on streets plagued by overflow parking from a nearby train station are divided over the best way of tackling the issue.

Cars that cannot find a space at Alnmouth Station have long parked in neighbouring streets, such as Curly Lane and South View, causing issues and leading to complaint from residents.

At the April meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area committee, concerns were raised about the time it was taking to discuss plans for a car-park extension.

Coun Heather Cairns, who represents the ward, said: “I am very disappointed that we are only in the early stages of negotiations with Network Rail. This has been going on for years.”

In recognition of the fact that the the process may be lengthy, it was decided to consult with residents on potential permit parking for residents and no-waiting restrictions.

But the consultation has revealed divided views with an almost 50/50 split on both options.

A report to next Monday’s meeting of the north area committee explains that 31 were for residents’ parking and 29 were against, while 31 were in favour of a no-waiting restriction and 27 were against.

Three responses failed to state a preference.

Issues raised during the consultation included an objection to the £15 fee per parking permit, the limit of two permits per household, and the potential to displace the parking problem further out into adjacent streets.

However, the report explains that the £15 fee is to cover administration, while the two-per-household limit is a countywide standard.

No recommendation has been made other than to discuss it with councillors and agree a way forward as ‘experience has shown that it can be difficult to introduce restrictions where there isn’t a majority in favour’.

The county council has money set aside to improve the station’s car parking in the Local Transport Plan.