BACK before Christmas, Dick Phillips from NCC talked to the Chamber of Trade about the proposed roadworks and one-way system – and I have to congratulate Mr Phillips on the extensive consultation he carried across the town and his can-do problem-solving approach.
As I recall, the main concern expressed by Chamber members at the time was that every effort should be made to keep the news positive and give out the message that ‘Morpeth is open for business’ (which it is) during the roadworks.
It is odd, therefore, that the knee-jerk reaction from the Chamber – and from the Morpeth Herald, much to your shame – should be in terms of ‘traffic chaos’ emphasising the very worst aspects arising from initial teething problems in the scheme.
Is it any wonder, given that early publicity, that footfall in the town should drop? And it is those reports of ‘traffic chaos’ which are keeping people away from the town in such large numbers, not the level of car-park charges. Talk of free car parking is just a red herring.
The truth is that despite the current problems, Morpeth is open for business and we have probably the best range of shops in the county. And, I can reassure readers that the Wednesday markets and the farmers’ market on February 4, will go ahead as planned even though NCC are unable to get access to the Market Place to erect their stalls.