County car parking charges are scrapped

Parking charges are being scrapped in towns across Northumberland from April 1.

Northumberland County Council has agreed to end charges in local authority-run car parks and on-street parking places, following a consultation with town and parish councils, and local communities.

From April 1 parking will be free in the council’s car parks and on-street locations in Morpeth, Alnwick, Bamburgh, Beadnell, Berwick,except Berwick Railway Station car park, Hexham, Rothbury and Wooler.

However, parking charges will be retained in some areas, predominantly tourist locations, including Corbridge, Craster, Holy Island, Newton by the Sea and Seahouses.

Enforcement of time limits and other restrictions such as parking outside of marked bays will remain in place to ensure turnover of high demand spaces.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment said: “We believe free parking has real benefits for residents, businesses and visitors but we left the decision to local communities.

“We understand and appreciate that for traffic management reasons some communities are unable to take up the offer.”

The council hopes that by combining this policy change with the introduction of free parking it will encourage drivers to park correctly and make full use of permitted parking places rather than them taking a chance and parking illegally.