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Free parking on Marygate set for 12-month trial

A council committee has failed to persuade the Berwick's future partnership to examine increasing parking on Marygate

A council committee has failed to persuade the Berwick's future partnership to examine increasing parking on Marygate

Short stay parking looks set to return to Berwick’s main shopping street on a year-long trial - and it will be free for motorists.

It is the option favoured by a working group which has been looking at various options for Marygate over the past few months.

Northumberland County Council’s north area committee is now being asked to endorse that recommendation at its meeting on Monday.

However, it will be several months before anything happens as the proposal will have to go out to full consultation and the impact considered by the council’s planning and environment committee.

Jim Long, project planning manager for the council, said: “The key principles agreed by the working group reaffirmed that any proposals should be quick, reversible and affordable, and that what was proposed was a practical experiment capable of being reviewed in the light of experience.

“It was also agreed that the key objective should be an increase of footfall on Marygate with a consequent increased spend in the retail outlets, contributing to town centre viability and sustainability.”

The working group looked at perpendicular parking, a one-way system and alternative parking provision before deciding on parallel parking.

This scheme could accommodate up to 11 cars but would require that the bollards in the pedestrianised area be moved back by 1m. The current loading bays would also have to be moved.

The group also wants a pedestrian crossing close to the junction with West Street. It maintains safety is paramount.

It has been proposed that parking is limited to a 30-minute stay.

However, this would require additional signs, road markings and ticket machines - added expense for a trial scheme.

“It’s therefore suggested that this proposed parking should be free for the life of any experiment but will have to comply with current parking traffic policy if made permanent,” said Mr Long.

 

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