Coastal car parks set for influx of visitors
Major improvements have been carried out to two popular car parks which have now re-opened ahead of the busy tourist season.
More than £500,000 has been spent carrying out improvements to Craster car park and the Seafield car park in Seahouses – both of which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
At Seahouses, the surface of the former grass extension car park was not formally set out and used to suffer from rutting and other damage in bad weather, making it difficult to use.
The car park has seen excavation, regrading, drains installed, a stone surface laid and rows of parking bays created to promote more efficient parking.
There are 160 spaces and the car park will be much more user-friendly and hard-wearing, particularly in wet weather.
Historically, the village car park in Craster quickly became full during busy periods, meaning cars parking along the main access road to the village and the village itself, causing access problems for local bus services and parking issues for residents.
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The county council worked closely with Craster Parish Council to find a solution and has extended the car park in the quarry area to create a further 48 spaces, bringing the total capacity to 148 vehicles.
Work took place over the quiet winter period and the construction teams used careful planning to ensure that some parking provision was maintained throughout the complex scheme to minimise the impact of the works.
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services with Northumberland County Council, said: “These are among the first of a number of schemes we will be delivering across the county as part of a new package of parking improvements.
“Like many of our popular tourist destinations there is a lack of car parking capacity in both Craster and Seahouses, particularly during peak season, and it makes sense to ensure what is available is used as efficiently as possible.
“These schemes will provide much needed extra parking for visitors to help boost tourism and should have a positive knock-on effect for the local economy.”