Councillors have signed off on almost £300,000 of funding for initial parking improvements in four Northumberland market towns.
The £289,000 approved by the county council’s cabinet last Thursday will be used to tackle the immediate, high-priority issues flagged up in locally-developed plans for Alnwick, Berwick, Hexham and Morpeth.
These action plans were drawn up based on the recommendations and conclusions of studies commissioned by the council and the funding will come from an overall pot of £10million set aside to tackle parking issues across the county.
Many of the proposed actions are common measures with signage set to be reviewed in all four towns.
Plus, maximum 24-hour restrictions are set to be introduced at all long-stay car parks by September.
In Alnwick, there is a target date of August for 80 long-stay spaces in Greenwell Road car park A to be converted to three-hour spaces, the four-hour bays in Greenwell Road car park D to also become three-hour spaces, and the time limits for the bays on Bondgate Within outside Costa to be reduced from two hours to 30 minutes.
There is also an aim to increase off-street parking in Pottergate through the removal of double yellow lines by October, although this requires consultation with the residents living there.
Dealing with the problems caused by blue badge holders parking on the double yellow lines at the Bailey’s corner is another aim as parked vehicles are preventing the safe operation of the junction.
In Berwick, funding will be used to convert the Chapel Street coach park into a short-stay car park and provide coach parking on Walkergate.
By August, it is also hoped to convert the Parade car park to short-stay spaces, while the county council is seeking to secure additional time for temporary parking on the Castlegate overflow car park while a long-term decision is made.
August is also the target date for introducing shorter, two-hour time limits in Morpeth’s Back Riggs and Corporation Yard car parks, while it is hoped that a maximum 72-hour stay at Morpeth railway station can be brought in by the following month.
Outside of the four market towns, projects are planned or under way in Amble, Craster and Corbridge, while the county council announced last week that it would be trialling a £3-a-day charge in the northbound-platform car park at Alnmouth Station, alongside a maximum 72-hour stay restriction.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service