A CALL for free parking in Northumberland has received support from hundreds of Morpeth residents and many businesses.
A petition was launched before Christmas by the county’s Labour group, saying that all of these charges should be scrapped in county council-run car parks, unless specifically requested by town and parish councils.
People currently pay to stop in market towns across the north and west of Northumberland, but it is free in the south-east area and the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade has been calling for a level playing field since the unitary authority came into effect in 2009.
The organisation has collected a total of 660 signatures in support of the petition from members of the public visiting shops in the town centre.
And 63 letters from businesses in the Sanderson Arcade shopping centre have been sent to Northumberland County Council calling for free parking to be extended across the county.
Chamber Chairman John Beynon said: “This is a phenomenal response and it shows the increasing strength of feeling about the total inequality of car parking charges levied by our county council.
“A fair parking policy is one of the central aims of the new Northumberland Market Towns Chamber of Trade and we’re urging all the main political parties to take on board the weight of public opinion as they prepare their manifestos for the May elections.”