New parking charges in tourism and railway station car parks have been given the green light – significantly amended from what was originally proposed.
As previously reported, proposals to introduce or hike fees in car parks across the county, in order to fund a programme of improvement works, went out for consultation last year, proving very controversial in certain places and sparking petitions.
Following the feedback, the council’s leadership decided not to bring in charges in Blyth, Cresswell, Seaton Sluice, the railway stations at Haltwhistle and Prudhoe, or the latter’s Tyne Riverside Country Park, although investment in upgrades will still take place as planned.
In addition, there are some minor changes to what was previously proposed at Seahouses, Craster and Beadnell, while the proposed increase in the annual countywide parking pass will be phased in over two years.
At Tuesday’s (February 12) meeting of the cabinet, where the new and increased charges were approved, Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services, said: “I did say it would be a genuine consultation and we would listen and that’s what we have done. I’m really pleased that we had such a good consultation.”
Deputy council leader, Wayne Daley, added: “We should pay a huge debt of gratitude to Glen and his team for actually listening. I think this administration has demonstrated that when we have a consultation, we do listen.
“It shows that genuine consultation actually leads to good outcomes for communities.”
Here is a full list of the new and increased charges, including the changes made in response to the consultation, which have been agreed.
Holy Island – Chare Ends: 3 hours – £3.50, all day – £5.50.
Holy Island – Green Lane (coaches): 4 hours – £6, all day – £8.
Seahouses: 1 hour – free, 2 hours – £2.40, 3 hours – £3.50, all day – £5.50, 4 hours – £6 (coaches), all day – £8 (coaches).
Craster, Low Newton and Newton Steads: 1 hour – £1, 2 hours – £2, 3 hours – £3, all day – £4.
Countywide permits: 2019/20 – £64 for 3 months, £108 for 6 months, £195 for 12 months; 2020/21 – £72 for 3 months, £123 for 6 months, £225 for 12 months.
Bamburgh: 3 hours – £3.50, all day – £5.50, 4 hours – £6 (coaches), all day – £8 (coaches).
Beadnell: 1 hour – free, 3 hours – £1.50, all day – £3.
Alnmouth Railway Station (northbound): £1.50 per day.
Morpeth Railway Station (south): £3 per day.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service