Parking possibilities continue to be probed

A progress report on efforts to improve parking provision in Berwick has been released by Northumberland County Council.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 09 November, 2018, 09:06
Car park at The Parade, Berwick Picture by Jane Coltman

The authority has allocated £10million to fund parking improvements throughout Northumberland, producing detailed parking studies and action plans for keymarket towns in conjunction with town councils.

To help fund these improvements, consultation is set to take place on proposals to reintroduce charges at a number of non town centre council-owned car parks, including Bamburgh, while charges would rise in other coastal hospots.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “We know parking is an issue about which many people feel strongly and that’s why we’ve invested so much in improvements.

“There’s an urgent need to provide more spaces in our county and we’ve worked closely with our parish and town council colleagues to increase capacity in our towns and villages and there is still a lot more to come. However there is absolutely no plan to introduce parking charges in existing town centre car parks.”

The council update reveals that initial dialogue has been undertaken with LNER about Berwick railway station parking, with further meetings being arranged to progress the proposed redevelopment of the ‘yard’ area adjacent to the northbound platform. Approval is being sought for £25,000 to progress the design and planning application for this scheme.

At West End in Tweedmouth, a scheme has been developed for the reconfiguration, lining and signage to improve on-street parking capacity next to the Royal Tweed Bridge that will secure an additional 16 spaces, including three disabled bays, at a cost of £50,000.

Planning approval has been secured for temporary use of the Castlegate overflow for a further three-year period. Costings are being sought for the installation of barriers to prevent use during the winter period. Work is also about to start on the development of a scheme for the permanent use of Castlegate.

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Further contact is to be made with Advance Northumberland, owners of the GWA building on Walkergate, now that the changes to long-stay provision at the Parade have been in place for a while to see if they are able to open up their development site for informal long stay parking by their tenants/visitors to help reduce pressure on the council’s town centre long stay car parks.

Some complaints have being received about the change of time limit at The Parade. A usage survey will be carried out.

At Seahouses, Craster, Newton-by-the-Sea and the Holy Island coach park where charging is already in place, the tariffs would be increased. For the main car park on Lindisfarne, any increase is subject to negotiations regarding the renewal of the lease.

The first hour at Seahouses would remain free, but the proposed charges would then be £3.50 for up to three hours and £5.50 all day. In Craster, there would be a £3 three-hour option or a £4 all-day fee, while the Newton-by-the-Sea car parks would see the charges double, for example, 50p for one hour becomes £1, and £2 all day becomes £4.

A number of car parks which are free at present would see charges introduced, notably Bamburgh where it would cost £3.50 for three hours or £5.50 all day.

In Beadnell, the charges would be £1.50 for three hours or £3 all day.

The report to councillors explains that ‘the proposed tariff at Bamburgh car park reflects that which is proposed for Seahouses as these are two of the main visitor destinations in the county and as such have the highest level of demand for parking services’.