Call for action on residents’ parking plan

PARKING problems in a congested street must be tackled as a matter of urgency, councillors say.

Complaints have been made to Morpeth Town Council about the lack of parking spaces for residents in Cottingwood Lane.

And while members of the town’s Planning and Transport Committee heard that Northumberland County Council is aware of the problem, they said action must be taken quickly to address it.

Coun Nic Best said: “As one of the five ward councillors for that area, during the election campaign it was a common issue amongst all the people up there. While I was canvassing there was an incident of some youths parking in front of somebody’s house and there was an exchange of abuse. It is a very sore point.”

Coun Best told fellow members that the problems have been exacerbated as residents have now been barred from parking in the grounds of the former Register Office, which served as an overspill.

“We did have inquiries about the arrangements for parking in the old registrars’ car park, which was being used by people parking their cars all day. There had been an informal agreement so residents could park in there, but that has been revoked so that car park is not available even out of hours to residents,” he said.

“I think we need to be a lot stronger in saying something needs to be done fairly urgently there because of the horrendous road.

“It is a very narrow road and we have had planning decisions that hang on the safety of that road.

“Subject to consultation with local residents, I would highly recommend a residents’ parking scheme and the county council needs to come to a decision as a matter of urgency about that.”

The committee heard that a county highways officer was due to meet with one of the complainants to discuss the issues and the possibility of residents-only parking, which would have to go through a formal consultation period.

Deputy Town Clerk Angela Logan said: “There are maybe 20 to 30 young people driving cars and parking in Cottingwood Lane when they go to school. That is part of the problem. A lot of the sixth-formers have cars and the top of that lane is all full of students’ cars.”

Councillors Alison Byard and Ken Brown reported that King Edward VI School (KEVI) does ask parents not to park in the area or to use the road during the school run.

Coun Bob Robertson said: “I suggest we write to the Head of KEVI asking him to clarify what the school’s current policy on parking adjacent to the school is in the light of comments we have received and the likelihood of further action from the county council in the future. We are forewarning him.”

The authority will also write to the county council calling for action.