Council predicts summer parking chaos in popular Northumberland village unless swift action taken
Bamburgh residents have called for action to tackle chronic parking problems in the village.
Nearly 80% of those who responded to a survey by Bamburgh Parish Council feel the current parking situation is unsustainable.
Of those, nearly half said it was a problem during peak holiday periods but 30% felt it was a year-round problem.
Three-quarters of respondents say they would be supportive of parts of the centre of the village having time-limited waiting sections in an effort to improve the flow of customers to the shops and businesses.
Nearly 65% of the 122 people who took part in the survey said they would be supportive of ‘residents only’ parking in parts of the village centre.
Congestion problems on The Wynding, popular because of its proximity to the beach, were highlighted. Parking restrictions are expected to be introduced there soon.
The shortage of spaces on Lucker Road, where there are a number of accommodation providers, was another issue raised.
Comparisons were made with Low Newton, Craster and Holy Island where visitors’ car parks are established on the periphery of the villages with restrictions on parking in the villages.
The temporary use of the Glebe Field was seen to be helpful but another car park on Lucker Road was suggested as a good location.
In its analysis, the parish council states: ‘Support for both time limited and resident parking highlights that payment for out-of-village parking and unregulated in-village parking are incompatible. In many cases, tied to these comments, was the need for enforcement.
‘From the comments it would appear that the balance between the popularity of Bamburgh as a visitor destination, with its positive contribution to the local businesses, against the detrimental effect on the environment and quality of life is felt to be weighted towards the detrimental aspects.
‘It is obvious that at many times of the year, Bamburgh has insufficient parking provision. Along with other solutions, this survey provides conclusive evidence for the need for several car parking areas, external to the village centre.
‘The parish council will be conveying its concern as a matter of urgency. 2020 saw unprecedented numbers of vehicles in Bamburgh with the main car park totally full. This led to inappropriate parking both within the car park and throughout the village.
‘With the continuing restrictions on international travel, summer 2021 has the potential to attract even more visitors making matters worse.
‘The parish council will be working with local landowners, Northumberland County Council and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to explore possible courses of action.’
The survey was also discussed at its March meeting.
"We’ve got to do something,” said chairman, Cllr Barbara Brook. “We can’t allow car parking to get to the stage it did last year.”
Cllr Andrew Bardgett pointed out: “If we are going to implement some of the things people would like to see we are going to end up with signage.
"Until we do that it’s a free for all and it’s not helped by the county council putting up the prices in the main car park because people are going to look for places to park for free.
"So until we get some sort of restriction on parking in the centre of the village I think we are faced with another summer of the place being jam-packed.”