Coach park protesters call for public support
Opponents of the proposed Chapel Street coach park in Berwick have called for like-minded residents to lodge their objections.
Northumberland County Council has given notice of its plans to make a formal order turning the existing car park into a four-bay coach park.
However, concerns have been raised that the move will exacerbate parking problems in the town centre, especially when chartered accountancy firm Greaves West and Ayre is planning to move into new offices on the former Kwik Save site.
Eric Goodyer, a local resident and town councillor, said: “The additional loss of 22 car park spaces comes on top of Northumberland County Council’s closure of the Hatters Lane car park, the sale of part of Coxon Lane car park, their failure to negotiate long-term use of the Castlegate extension and no progress on the new station car park.
“Local traders have complained about the growing lack of parking in the town. A recent car park survey carried out by the Chamber of Trade found that most of the members now had serious concerns, and the impact on their businesses and the town’s economy.”
The Berwick Campaign for a Real Coach Park has called on the county council to abandon the Chapel Street option in favour of one of a range of alternatives which include developing the station into a transport hub.
Consultation on the Chapel Street car park ends on October 28. Comments should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The campaigners are also seeking financial backing for an independent environmental study after raising concerns about coach noise, vibration and pollution.
A council spokesman said: “As part of the preparation for a new coach park in Chapel Street, the county council has given notice of making the formal order to revoke the Chapel Street car park from the Off Street Parking Places Composite Order and to introduce the Chapel Street coach park to the Order.
“We fully appreciate the need for a range of car parking in the town and that is why the council is working with Network Rail and other partners on proposals to expand car parking provision at the railway station in the coming year.
“We will also be starting work on a car parking study to help formulate a long-term parking strategy for the town, which will involve local partners including the town council.
“Regarding Castlegate car park, we have secured a two-year extension to allow parking on the overflow area which will allow further discussions and consideration of parking needs and opportunities in the town.”