Progress on parking at key Morpeth locations and disc parking set to be introduced in Ponteland

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

Work is progressing well on a major parking programme in Morpeth.

And Northumberland County Council has also announced it has agreed with Ponteland Town Council that disc parking will be introduced for both on and off-street bays.

At Cresswell, investigations are on-going to secure additional visitor parking capacity within reasonable walking distance of the village.

The county council has allocated £10million to fund parking improvements, which includes expanding and refurbishing existing car parks and creating new ones in many towns and villages.

To help fund the programme, consultation is set to take place on proposals to reintroduce charges at a number of non town centre council-owned car parks and increase fees at car parks where charging is already in place at locations that include Seahouses, Craster and the Holy Island coach park.

If the consultation is approved by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, detailed proposals will be put forward to residents, stakeholders and key partners in the coming weeks.

The local authority’s update for Morpeth includes saying that a planning application is set to be lodged later this month for additional parking on a grass area to deliver a new 30-space long stay car park at Morpeth Railway Station and subject to approval being granted, ‘it is considered that the new facility should be available by summer 2019’.

Design work is under way for a 150-space car park on the current Morpeth First School site in Goosehill.

The update says: ‘Ground investigation works are required to enable detailed design of retaining structures and surfacing at the site due to the level differences – it isn’t possible to undertake these works until the school has been vacated in summer 2019 to move to the Loansdean site.

‘It is therefore proposed that an outline planning application will be submitted during 2018 in order to secure use of the site as a car park, subject to further detailed designs being submitted and agreed.

‘It is envisaged that, subject to planning approval, the new car park would be available by spring/summer 2020.’

Further dialogue is proposed to see if additional staff parking spaces can be made available for public use at the long-stay facility by the Morrisons supermarket.

As for two other sites, the update says: ‘Discussions are on-going with the owner of the site in Gas House Lane to see how it can be brought into use as a private car park to help provide additional town centre parking capacity, whilst it is being marketed for sale as a development site.

‘The former library site has been made available for informal use as a car park and is being well used. The site is currently being marketed, but no firm dates for disposal are available at this stage.

‘We will seek to ensure that the current use for informal parking is maintained for as long as is possible, pending alternative capacity being made available.’

In Ponteland, work is ‘progressing well’ on expanding the car park between Merton Way and Meadowfield. The main facility is now open and new on-street bays are being excavated.

The town council will ‘canvass local businesses to find out who is willing to sell the parking discs’.