Parking policy review is set to make progress

PROGRESS on a new parking policy for Morpeth should start to move forward this summer.

Northumberland County Council has pledged that free parking will be offered in towns where the community demands it, with town and parish authorities tasked with drawing up their own parking plans.

Morpeth Town Council’s current policy states that parking charges should apply countywide for traffic management purposes, but a working group, formed of the authority’s Planning and Transport Committee, has been set up to review the document in light of the county’s proposal.

All town councillors and those of neighbouring parishes were invited to put forward ideas and more than 20 general principles have been identified.

Working group members are set to meet county officials on Monday to discuss the options and receive data and statistics about car park usage and costs.

The councillors will then meet on Thursday to consider the reports and will work over the summer to firm up the policies, ready for consideration by the full council in September.

Committee Chairman Ken Brown said: “The speed of the process is understandably constrained due to the fact that the county council is dealing individually with 14 leading town or parish councils across the county.

“However, Morpeth Town Council is being as proactive as the process allows and is keen to reach a satisfactory outcome as soon as possible.”

A letter will be sent to the county council urging it to include the town authority in discussions about any parking issues while the review is ongoing following complaints about parking in residential streets.