CONCERNS about a new tariff structure for Morpeth’s car parks have been raised by a business group.
The county council’s proposed shake-up of the system would change time limits for some spaces in certain Northumberland towns and the facilities in Morpeth would either be up to three hours or up to all day – charges would start at up to 30 minutes.
Conservative group Leader Peter Jackson has criticised the consultation for not including any details about how parking fees would link with the new system and he believes they will rise later in the year, while car parks in the south east of the county remain free.
The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade mentioned this point in its response and it also brought up a few other issues.
Charles Robinson, Chair of the organisation’s Car Parking Sub Committee, said: “We do not understand why tariff codes have not been given to each car park in the south east of the county.
“This re-structuring is, we are led to believe, all about uniformly grading car parks across the county according to their proximity and importance to the retail centre. What is the reason for this omission?
“Newmarket East car park is too close to the town centre to be designated as an all-day car park. This should remain a medium-term car park.
“What designation will the new Dransfield car park at Low Stanners be and how is this car park to be managed? We consider it essential that this car park is treated in the same way as the other car parks in the town.
“Businesses in Newgate Street have suffered enormously following the loss of the Back Riggs car park, which has resulted in dramatically reduced pedestrian flows. This follows on the damage to Newgate Street after the high turnover car park in Manchester Street was sold for redevelopment.
“We consider part at least of St James’ car park should be re-classified as medium term to help redress the imbalance.”