PARKING: Pleased to see common sense

I do find it difficult and hard to believe that ‘name and address withheld’ should believe that Northumberland County Council parking wardens should ‘pinch’ all and sundry who breach parking regulations. How many times have we heard of ‘overzealous car parking wardens’ and so-called ‘town hall Hitlers’ who rigidly apply parking restrictions against the poor, overburdened motorist?

Yet now it seems wardens are wrong if they apply some common sense.

Labour’s introduction of free parking in 2014 aimed to bring the best help to struggling town centres and residents alike.

Our service is now built on safety and maintaining the best conditions possible for motorists, pedestrians and other road and pavement users.

This, coupled with our policy to support our market towns – and the free parking policy has meant an average 10 to 15 per cent increase in turnover in our town shops – has given rise to a common sense approach to parking and its restrictions.

There will always be those who believe they can leave their vehicle anywhere and therefore the need for our wardens to be ever alert to the parking hog who may block footpaths, or double park in narrow streets etc, is required, especially when in search of sound bites and publicity, but whenever we can resolve issues amicably we do, and will.

The world of parking has truly turned full circle when the main gripe is now that parking wardens are acting with some common sense and flexibility when applying restrictions, and I can only say I’m pleased that common sense has prevailed and car parking dogma has been consigned to the dustbin of history.

I should conclude this was only delivered under a Labour administration against the backdrop of opposition from Tories, led by Coun Jackson, who chose not to support the budget that introduced free parking.

Coun Scott Dickinson,

Druridge Bay Ward.