Hundreds of new car parking spaces to be created in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council is looking to create hundreds of new parking spaces in the county.
Northumberland County Council is looking to create hundreds of new parking spaces in the county.

Council leaders are driving forward plans to create hundreds of new parking spaces.

Northumberland County Council has allocated £10m to fund parking improvements throughout the area.

The improvement programme is under way, expanding and refurbishing existing car parks and creating new ones.

Consultation is also set to take place on proposals to reintroduce charges at seven coastal tourist car parks, four railway station car parks and at Tyne Riverside Country Park.

There will also be consultation on proposals to increase the cost of an annual parking pass from £130 to £225.

Among the plans is 24-hour maximum stay in town centres, and 72 hours in other areas, to be implemented on December 1.

Advance Northumberland is considering improved parking provision as part of its asset management strategy for the Manor Walks site in Cramlington, town centre parking is being considered as part of the Portland Park regeneration scheme in Ashington, and a parking study will be undertaken to inform the economic regeneration of Blyth and town planning.

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.”

He added: “There is absolutely no plans to introduce parking charges in existing town centre car parks.

“Maintaining and improving our everyday frontline services is of the greatest importance to us. At the same time we need to service our debt and, more importantly, we need to continue to generate investment income to allow us to safeguard and improve these frontline services.”

If agreed, the new charges would be introduced by summer 2019.