Quayside viewed as best parking option

Several potential sites for additional parking in Berwick have been suggested by consultants.

Thursday, 18th January 2018, 6:13 am
Berwick quayside by Gemma Davids.

Top of the list that Aecom is recommending for further investigation is land to the east of the Quayside car park.

The consultants, commissioned by Northumberland County Council to carry out a parking study and examine possible solutions to existing shortages, have identified the need for 50 more parking spaces to be found as soon as possible and recommend that 261 new spaces need to be found by 2030 to meet demand.

In their report, published earlier this month, the consultants state: ‘The Quayside site could accommodate the 50 spaces recommended for provision as soon as possible.’

Land at the former community centre on Palace Street and the former garage site at Palace Street East are listed as second and third top priorities.

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‘The Quayside site in conjunction with the garage site could accommodate the 187 spaces recommended for provision by 2020,’ says the report.

‘The Quayside site in conjunction with the youth centre site and the garage site could accommodate the 261 spaces recommended for provision by 2030.’

Land to the east of Parade car park – the grassed area in front of Berwick Barracks – could provide around 90 spaces, say consultants, although they also acknowledge the potential visual impact.

They also recommend that the county council continues to investigate ways of providing additional parking capacity close to the railway station to deal with capacity issues.

One possibility is the area of brownfield land immediately to the west of the railway station where the council is exploring the possibility of constructing an additional 102-space car park. However, there are access difficulties and further negotiations with Network Rail and Virgin Trains would be needed.

A site to the north of the Castle Terrace/Castlegate junction, a grassed area west of the railway line, could provide around 100 spaces but there would be access and topographical challenges.

Multi-storey car parking was not considered by the consultants due to both the aesthetic impact in a heritage-rich area such as Berwick and the high cost in comparison to surface car parking.

Park and ride would not be viable without the reintroduction of town centre parking charges, the consultants add.

The issue will be discussed further by Berwick Town Council at its meeting in the town hall on Monday at 6pm.