Free parking proposals are making good progress

FREE parking proposals for Morpeth are gathering pace.

The Herald has previously reported that parking charges in the town are likely to be scrapped in April in favour of a 12-month trial of a time-disc system.

Morpeth Town Council is expected to formally approve the proposal this week and begin public consultation on the plans next month.

The authority’s Planning and Transport Committee is recommending the changes and already members have been working on the consultation documents and potential disc designs.

It has been suggested that the discs could be sold to authorised retailers for £1 each, who could then sell them to the public for the same price, or give them away free.

Further discussions will take place with the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade on the idea, and there will also be talks with Northumberland County Council to try to ensure that discs from individual towns will be valid countywide.

The town council is also seeking approval for more on-street parking provision, where shoppers could park for up to 20 minutes.

Free parking plans are coming forward after Northumberland County Council said local communities should decide whether charges are applied.