Review urged on car park time limit

COUNCIL bosses have been urged to re-think time limits at a Morpeth car park.

Members of Morpeth Town Council have had a number of complaints about the three-hour limit at the Newmarket East facility, which was changed from five hours in a county council review.

Concerns have been raised by Morpeth Bowls Club that the shorter period allows insufficient time to play games and countywide competitions may be called off.

Coun David Parker told the town Planning and Transport Committee: “While election campaigning I had three or four residents raise this issue with me. They are all interested in the bowls club. As the county council has changed this car park from five hours to three hours, it means they are unable to continue holding countywide competitions in Morpeth.

“I undertook to raise this issue with the council as I could see that this affects quite a lot of people potentially and it affects the good name of the town in relation to that particular activity.”

Members heard that the change came in after the county council decided that only two parking time limits would operate in Morpeth — all-day or three hours. Originally Newmarket East was to become an all-day facility, which the town council backed, but during consultation people said it should be short-stay due to its proximity to shops.

Coun Nic Best said: “I was also lobbied by members of the bowls club. At most there would be seven individuals at weekends affected. That is relatively narrow so it may not be appropriate to change the whole set-up of the car park. If we are going to lobby I would suggest make it an all-day car park at weekends because there is probably a good reason for short-stay during the week.”

Questions were asked about how having two systems would operate due to signage and ticket machines so Coun Best suggested instead that seven spaces could be set aside for the bowls club when needed.

The committee will ask Northumberland County Council to look into the issue.