Fresh calls for action to ease chronic parking congestion in and around Berwick railway station have been made by town councillors.
The station car park is often full to capacity by mid-morning, forcing rail passengers to park on surrounding streets which is causing problems for local residents.
Now, Berwick Town Council’s environment and regeneration committee has urged Northumberland County Council to put the issue at the top of its agenda for the year ahead.
Coun Flora Simpson said: “If you go down to the station at 10am you can be pretty sure that you will not be able to get parked.”
She suggested the county council re-examine the possibility of providing extra parking on the north side of the platform.
“I know it was looked at several years ago and it was thought it could create an extra 40 spaces or so but then nothing happened,” she said.
However, Coun John Robertson thought the cost of such a scheme had seen it shelved.
“When highways looked at it, they were talking about £500,000 to create a safe access and exit,” he revealed.
He added that Network Rail, which currently use the site, was willing to move to the sub-station area but it would cost about £80,000.
Coun Alex Gibson suggested a second tier could be added to increase capacity but acknowledged it would be costly.
The limited capacity of the station car park has been an issue ever since it was redeveloped at a cost of £400,000 in 2005.
In the meantime, commuters continue to cause congestion problems in the Greenses and streets such as Castle Terrace and Windsor Crescent.
Coun Robertson said: “If we are pushing Berwick as a hub for rail visitors then this is something we need to do something about.”
The on-going issue of whether free parking should be introduced in Berwick also needed to be taken into account, said Coun Phil Elliott.
“If free parking comes along, then people would be able to park at the station for as long as they wanted,” he said. “There would be people going away for long weekends parking there.”
The town council has made the issue its top priority in its list of schemes for inclusion in the county’s Local Transport Plan in 2014/15.
Coun Robertson said: “We’ve made it our top priority so now it’s up to the county council to see what can be done about it.”
The town council has also called for coach parking and Marygate parking issues to be addressed as its second and third priorities.
“Those are both schemes that the council is progressing,” said Coun Robertson. “A Marygate trial is planned for next year and there is a coach parking proposal for Chapel Street.”