Problem parking plan

A FRESH bid is under way to try to address Morpeth parking problems.

Residents in High Stanners have complained about nuisance parking, which they fear could obstruct access for emergency services.

They say people park there all day to avoid town centre charges, but there are also problems in the evening from those visiting a restaurant and club.

Morpeth North county councillor David Bawn suggested a residents’ parking permit scheme could be introduced, coupled with more robust enforcement of restrictions.

But a recent consultation showed a slight majority of local householders were opposed to the plan.

Residents were concerned about the cost of permits and said there was no need for restrictions in some of the streets considered.

Now the ‘Resident Permit Zone’ idea has been dropped by Northumberland County Council, but it is seeking views on the introduction of double yellow lines at the bottom of Curly Kews bank and along Abbey Terrace and Abbey View.

Coun Bawn said: “There is a new consultation now.

“Because the residents didn’t come out overwhelmingly in favour of the parking permits, the current proposal is that the council could put double yellow lines, or ‘no waiting at any time’ restrictions, at the entrance to High Stanners.

“The consultation is ongoing, but so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. In some cases residents have suggested even more yellow lines than originally proposed.

“Something does need to be done there. At the moment it can be impossible to get into the area because of people parking on both sides of the road.”

However, at a meeting of Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee, members said the needs of businesses in the area should not be overlooked.

Coun Dave Pope said: “There are two businesses and a B&B on that corner. I had a job at one of the business which involved loading and unloading and it was quite impossible for me to do that without breaking the parking regulations. If this was in force I would have been in the impossible position of having to park 400 to 500 yards away.

“I think we need to find a suitable compromise. It really is a very difficult situation.”

Acting Chairman Nic Best added: “There are businesses as well as residents and the parking scheme needs to take both into account. There is also no point in having a scheme if it is not enforced.”

Consultation runs until Tuesday, April 8.