Traders criticise aspects of town parking consultation

Parking in Amble.
Parking in Amble.

Concerned traders have criticised aspects of a parking review in their town, fearing that some of the proposals will harm business.

Last week, the Gazette reported that Northumberland County Council has begun consulting on traffic management within Amble.

But members of the trading community believe that some of the suggestions could drive customers away.

No waiting restrictions earmarked for Leazes Street have caused concern while the addition of loading and disabled bays on Queen Street have also raised eyebrows.

Critics say that it is reducing the amount of car-parking in the town, which is already desperately shy of spaces.

It comes at a time when resurfacing work has been undertaken at the Coquet Street car park, as part of plans for Amble Marina, while the former car park on Turner Street has been shut for a number of years.

Speaking about the proposed restrictions on Leazes Street, John Geggie, of Harbour Fish Bar, said: “Our customers won’t be able to stop and come into the shop.

“We are not very happy about the proposals.”

Kelly Gair, of nearby Naked Nun, described the situation as a nightmare.

Steven Turner, of Queen Street-based business Sweets and Treats, believes a petition signed by more than 3,000 people, which led to loading bays being freed up for parking on Queen Street, has been ignored.

Ann Burke, of 42 Queen Street, who started the petition, added: “They are going backwards. We will lose about six spaces on Queen Street.

“The proposed loading bay will be used one day a week.

“Blue-badge holders are able to park on the yellow line along the street.”

She also criticised traffic wardens for not carrying out appropriate policing, leading to drivers parking on the street longer than they should.

Karl Brunton, of Amble Marina Limited, said the Coquet Street car-park work, to cater for more than 70 vehicles, had taken longer than expected.

The town council has looked at ways of reopening the car park at Turner Street.