Plea to avoid confusion at station car park

NORTHUMBERLAND County Council has been urged to avoid a parking headache at Morpeth Railway Station.

The authority recently opened a 75-space car park on the site of former railway sidings at Coopies Lane in a joint initiative with Network Rail and it confirmed that a £2 all-day parking charge will be levied.

This will follow a consultation, which has begun, about bringing the facility within county parking enforcement rules.

But concerns have been raised by the South East Northumberland Rail User Group about what will happen at the original station car park owned by Northern Rail, which is currently free.

And at a meeting of Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee, county and town councillor for Stobhill, Ian Lindley, said it would be ‘mindless’ to start charging in the new facility until the issue is resolved.

He added: “You can’t have the new car park being paid-for until an agreement is in place with Network Rail about the one it owns.”

The county council says talks are still ongoing with the company and that residents with a countywide parking permit would pay the equivalent of 35p a day in the car park.

Coun David Parker said: “The level of charging at the station will be very important because you don’t want to put residents off from using the train but historically, people have been parking up there to avoid paying in the town centre.”

He asked if there could be different parking fees for train users, but Coun Lindley said this would be complex to introduce.