Pedestrian crossing and parking bays in new plan for Marygate
A PLAN which would see short-stay parking return to Marygate and a pedestrian crossing installed is to go before Northumberland County Council.
The plan, which includes provision for 10 extra parking spaces, was thrashed out at a meeting of the working group set up by the authority to consider options for the high street.
Parking campaigners are delighted with the outcome but insist it must be put into practice as soon as possible to limit further damage to the town centre.
Ed Swales, director of the Portas team which has been awarded £200,000 to breathe new life into Berwick, said: “My personal view is that this is a huge breakthrough.
“We’ve been watching the high street go steadily downhill for the last seven years but at least we now have an opportunity to carry out this experiment, providing an affordable and workable solution that might bring footfall back on to Marygate.”
The new plan comes hot on the heels of a survey instigated by Boots which revealed that 56 out of 57 high street retailers would like short stay parking.
“I believe that was crucial to the working group coming up with this plan,” said John Haswell, chairman of Berwick Chamber of Trade.
Sermen Sonkur, manager of Boots’ Berwick store, added: “We sent a very strong message to the council and we’re pleased that they seem to be listening.
“One of the key things we wanted was a safe pedestrian crossing in Marygate so we’re pleased that is being investigated.”
Details of the scheme such as the parking charges, permitted length of stay, design and cost of the work are still to be finalised.
Two other parking options were put before the working group at its meeting on Friday. One was for an extension of the perpetual parking down the street from the existing disabled bays, creating another 16 spaces. However, the disadvantage and potential danger of this would be the need for cars to reverse out. The second option was for parallel parking, creating 12 spaces.
While members felt this scheme could work, the third option for 10 bays - split into two blocks of five - was preferred because it would retain the seating area opposite the West Street junction and would not conflict with the proposed crossing point at Clarks shoe shop.
An earlier proposal by Coun Brian Douglas for a crossing close to the Golden Square roundabout appears to have been ruled out because of safety concerns.
The council’s north area committee will now be asked to give its verdict.
However, Berwick Town Council is angry that it has not had its say. Coun Alan Bowlas, its representative on the working group, was not invited to the meeting. County councillors Isabel Hunter and Brian Douglas were not invited either.
“That’s bad,” said Mayor John Robertson. “We will be complaining to the county about this.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West