Run on discs ahead of free parking

John Beynon, George Williams and Charles Robinson celebrate the removal of parking charges.
John Beynon, George Williams and Charles Robinson celebrate the removal of parking charges.

FREE parking discs are being snapped up, with thousands distributed already and more hand-outs scheduled.

The time discs are being introduced by Northumberland County Council to manage car parks when charges are dropped from Tuesday.

They aim to ensure that drivers do not overstay the time periods in short-stay bays, enabling a turn-over of spaces.

A distribution event in Morpeth last week saw more than 6,500 discs given out, while there was standing room only at a session in the Town Hall for businesses to find out how the system will work and pick up discs for customers. More than 60 retailers were represented.

Such has been the demand for discs that many shops have now run out of their initial batches.

At a meeting of the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade on Monday, member Ken Stait said: “We need to re-focus on getting the discs out to shops. They are flying out and there is a feeling that a lot of people are not able to get their hands on one.

“It is going to frustrate people if they are going to shops where we are telling them to go and there is none there.”

He was told new supplies should arrive this week. There will be a distribution stand at Sanderson Arcade on Friday, from 10am to 3pm, and again on Saturday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 9.

Talks are taking place about making discs available in South East Northumberland for people who wish to visit Morpeth.

Discs will be needed to park in Back Riggs, Castle Square, Corporation Yard, Dacre Street, Newmarket East and West, Stanley Terrace North and South, The Terrace and Whalebone Lane.

There will be a two-minute observation period for parking on double or single yellow lines before enforcement action, and instant fines for double parking or parking next to a dropped footway.

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