DEMISE: More parking is necessary
As somebody Belford born and bred, we have always travelled into either Alnwick or Berwick to do our shopping for things you couldn’t get in the village.
When I was a child, we always went to Berwick, but at some point we switched and started going to Alnwick.
I recently asked my mum why and her response was: “You couldn’t get parked in Berwick anymore.”
I work in Berwick now and have no doubt that the semi-pedestrianisation of Marygate was well-intentioned, but it has coincided with its demise and the sorry state it’s in, with ever increasing numbers of empty units and charity shops.
At a talk by the former director of stores at Boots, I asked what he thought about the regeneration of Berwick High Street. He said we need to make the shopping experience as easy as possible to increase footfall and stave off competition from the out of town retail.
He also pointed out that historic towns with overzealous planning departments that escaped the pedestrianisation phase of street planning are now faring well because you can still park outside the shops.
Coun Cath Seymour has done an excellent job in increasing parking provision by bringing cars back to the ill-fated coach park.
The next stage should be bringing cars back to the High Street. The market could run as usual by closing off a third of the bays on market days, while the town would benefit from the extra parking the other five days of the week.