Plea for short-stay parking bays

CALLS have been made for new short-stay parking bays on Morpeth’s streets – and council officials have not ruled it out.

The idea was put forward at a meeting of Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade on Monday when Northumberland County Council officers were invited to discuss a range of parking issues.

Photographer Ken Stait suggested that parts of the town could be used for half-hour bays.

He said: “There is a great opportunity with the new enforcement officers. Previously we had a lot of fly-parking, however now we have got proper enforcement there are massive areas of the town where there is a real opportunity to put 20-minute, short-term bays on the street where previously we couldn’t enforce them and were left with double yellow lines.

“We have a situation where taxis swap from one position to another during the day and there is a daft area where there are double yellow lines and nobody can park.

“I think we could have 20 to 25 half-hour bays and it would really help the businesses which survive on drop in, pick it up and leave custom.

“It gives us an opportunity with the enforcement officers to look creatively at where we can put some short-stay bays.”

County councillor Andrew Tebbutt urged traders to make a list of potential areas where changes to existing orders could be made to allow for short-stay parking.

“I have got to agree with you on the Traffic Regulation Orders in Morpeth,” he said.

“The short-stay, half-hour parking scheme is one that I have long wanted and it makes sense that we should look at it.

“I also want to look at residents’ parking schemes as that can protect a lot of people.”

Parking Services Manager Lynne Ryan said the council will consider such suggestions and is doing so across the county.

She said: “One of the things that is done is to look at the Traffic Regulation Orders in terms of how they are working. We have got a lot of issues with single yellow lines and residents saying they can no longer park somewhere and short-stay bays are another classic example.

“Any issues like that, or any proposals you want to put forward, if they come through the local councillor they can collect a whole package to review the Traffic Regulation Orders in the town.

“There is a long list growing already in terms of reviewing the Traffic Regulation Orders, but we are actively working through this.”

She added: “We want this to work for the businesses. There has been a lot of positive comments from businesses about loading bays and how they can get access and I think short-stay parking of that nature would be a great benefit.”

A request was made to allow short-stay parking in New Market to enable people to use the chip shop, but Ms Ryan said it is unlikely there due to road safety concerns. However, a nearby loading bay may be able to be converted to a space.