Permit parking idea

Coun David Bawn who is calling for residents' permit parking in the High Stanners area due to problems with parking there.  GM016581
Coun David Bawn who is calling for residents' permit parking in the High Stanners area due to problems with parking there. GM016581

A RESIDENTS’ parking scheme could be brought in to tackle complaints about blocked streets.

Northumberland County Council has proposed the system for High Stanners following pressure from residents and councillors to address illegal and nuisance parking.

They complained that lives could be at risk as parked cars often block access to the area and emergency vehicles could struggle to get through.

County councillor David Bawn called for residents-only permits to be introduced, while Morpeth Town Council has urged stricter enforcement of parking restrictions.

Now the county authority is consulting on the introduction of permits, although it recognises that the move will not be popular with everyone.

Coun Bawn said: “While I appreciate that there will be people for and against this scheme, we can’t introduce it for part of the area only, as doing so would cause major problems.

“I and the officers will take into account the residents’ comments when the consultation ends on October 28.”

Members of Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee largely welcomed the move, but also mentioned that there may be some objections from residents.

Chairman Ken Brown said: “The only question I have is are we sure the residents are quite happy about this?

“If they are being asked to pay £15 a year for a permit, what impact will a free-parking or no-charge policy have on that?”

And Coun Bob Robertson said: “I have had a representation from a resident who feels aggrieved that he will have to pay to park outside his house.”

However, Coun David Clark said some parts of the town already have residents’ permits and it is accepted.

He added that enforcement of the restrictions will be key, particularly in the evening, as some of the problems are caused by visitors to a nearby pub and restaurant.

He said: “I think a parking permit scheme would be fantastic. I have it in my street and it is great, if it is enforced.

“Unless it is enforced from seven o’clock in the evening onwards, it will fail.”

The town council will pass on the comments to county officers.

Members will also ask if restrictions can be enforced to prevent parking at the bottom of Curly Kews bank.