I have always been a follower of Alan Castle.
However, I might take issue with his ‘few steps’ as there are some people who are labelled as disabled.
The Market Place is part-owned by the Freemen of Alnwick who have some rights to park there. There used to be properly-marked spaces until the council in its wisdom decided to cobble it, removing the even surface which had aided the dancing there during the music festival.
The cobbles hampered the dancing and indeed made it difficult for the Northumberland Piper to pace and play.
That meant a stage had to be set in place, limiting space further.
Seats were designed for the Market Place which are impossible for people with hip replacements – they are too low and a no-parking policy was instituted and only loading or unloading was allowed in the square.
To my fury, in 2009, I was fined £60 while picking up from the Italian store, but I was not accepted on that excuse; otherwise, until last year, I have been very happy to walk for appointments there.
Since I was fined, parking has been in vogue but, on having a disabled label, which I now need, I was totally blocked in by a pick-up van and badly parked car due to the stupid way people stop there.
Now, I dare not use the square for my appointments but the number of disabled parking spaces in Bondgate Within, opposite Boots, have been halved from six to three.
There are none outside Barclays or any of the banks. There is only one worse place for disabled drivers – Wooler, where there is no space in the main street and only six places in the doctors’ car park.
It seems ridiculous that county has taken three years and still not organised the parking in the Market Place.
Have they no paint? It seems they have men to place traffic lights for less than a cricket pitch in Eglingham.
At present, the Market Place is blocked by workers who have no designated place in Alnwick and the commercial vehicles should be banned, except for those unloading.
It seems that county has never thought of recompensing the Freemen for the use of the place.