Parking could lead to blows

PARKING problems in a residential street could lead to violence at any time, a councillor has warned.

The Herald reported last month that county councillor David Bawn was seeking a residents’ permit scheme for High Stanners in Morpeth following complaints about illegal parking blocking access.

Now Morpeth Town Council is calling for more enforcement of existing restrictions, particularly at evenings and weekends.

And Coun Dave Pope has warned that if nothing is done, the situation could escalate to violence.

“It is virtually open warfare between visitors to the area and residents,” he said.

“It has got to the stage where people have been threatened. I don’t know if anyone has been assaulted, but certainly threats have been issued by people parking there.

“I feel it is only a matter of time before there is an incident of physical assault.”

The issue was brought to the council’s Planning and Transport Committee following a letter from a 90-year-old resident of Challoner’s Gardens who was concerned about emergency vehicles not being able to get through.

Coun Nic Best said: “It is traffic parking on the road where there are existing ‘no parking’ signs, which is blocking the access.

“The concern is that emergency vehicles won’t be able to get through.

“Coun Bawn is putting forward a proposal that it becomes residents’ parking only. That seems to be fairly popular, but I can see it would not be agreeable to the Riverside Lodge, which is trying to run a business and needs to get people coming in. That would need to be addressed.”

Councillors will ask Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service to investigate the situation to ensure vehicles can access the area, and they will urge the county council to enforce parking restrictions and extend monitoring beyond 7pm.

The council will also consider the issue in its parking strategy review.