Manor Walks shopping centre in Cramlington has become a victim of its own success or, put another way, the car parking is totally inadequate for visitor numbers.
If you can find an empty slot in the bays, into which only a Smart car can readily fit, you will then, upon leaving, likely be faced with the conundrum of trying to get out before your frozen food defrosts.
I know a number of people who now shop at Asda in Blyth or Morrisons in Killingworth as a result of poor parking provision.
Travelling by public transport isn’t much better, as I witnessed last Friday.
There were six buses outside the stops adjacent to Sainsburys, causing no end of obstruction in Dudley Lane.
Buses clog up the area at the car park roundabout, with resultant traffic chaos. Why virtually all services use this route is beyond me.
Serious thought should be given for some to be routed to the western end of the centre, with integration with the railway station.
Northumberland County Council’s decision to cancel the resiting of the station opposite the retail area, with the advantage of a possible interchange with bus services, is not in line with effective and reasoned development of Northumberland’s largest town.
The original Cramlington development plans were for through traffic to be routed to the north of Village Road and Station Road, connecting the B1505 with Crowhall Lane, as evidenced by the swathe of land provided for the purpose in the late 1960s.
Together with solutions described above, the reduction in traffic would benefit local and visiting people to Manor Walks.
Perhaps the time has come for real strategies to be put into place, rather than ineffective piecemeal chipping away at the issues.