Hope issue isn't political

We have walked past the coach park in Chapel Street many times since its opening and have hardly ever seen any coaches parked there.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 08:00 am

This means that visitors and residents arriving in the town centre are being deprived of spaces to park their cars and is, therefore, decreasing the trade to local shops.

Surely it is more important to provide parking for regular local shoppers and visitors arriving by car than to earmark valuable parking spaces for hypothetical coaches, which rarely put in an appearance.

Consider all the trade that has been lost during the last year by the lack of car parking spaces, and that will be lost in the future while the discussion continues without action to change this ‘white elephant’.

The proposed site of this coach park was severely criticised before it was even built.

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There are no toilets nearby, passengers have to dismount elsewhere, and nearby residents are concerned about the potential noise and fumes from the coaches.

It seems unlikely that coach drivers will wish to negotiate the narrow access roads, considered by many as unsuitable for coaches – that is if they can find their way in and out of Berwick by the suggested route. One wrong turn will lead to a dangerous situation by the Town Hall junction and traffic hold-ups.

The site would serve the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed much better if it reverts back to car parking and will help to benefit the economy of the town by bringing back more regular shoppers.

The newly elected Northumberland County councillors are trying to reverse some of the seemingly ill-thought-out decisions of the previous council and return more car parking spaces to the town so should not town councillors, too, support this move?

Their stated objections to returning the Chapel Street coach park to a car park seem to carry little weight as this area functioned very well as a car park before its conversion, with none of the envisaged problems occurring then.

We hope this issue isn’t being used as a political point-scoring exercise to the detriment of the welfare and prosperity of the town.

Another solution to the lack of parking could be to examine the area in Walkergate/Coxon’s Lane, next to GWA’s offices, currently used for storing metal fencing.

This could be utilised for temporary car parking, prior to possible development, instead of leaving it fenced off.

Opening up this area would help to relieve some of the parking problems, even if only as a short-term solution.

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