PARKING: Information is needed

Tall ships liaison officer Chris Byrne at the information point in Blyth.
Tall ships liaison officer Chris Byrne at the information point in Blyth.

I read with some curiosity the letter from Mr J Walsh commenting on the parking charges of £5.50 to visit the Tall Ships Regatta, (News Post Leader, July 21).

As it happens, I have been in some discussions with both the county council and the organisation contracted by the council to manage the event.

In June this year the council delivered information on parking arrangements for the regatta, stating that all residents within the town centre or red zone would be issued with two residents’ parking permits.

All visitors would be directed to car parks either at the Links, if arriving south of Blyth, or to the old power station site if arriving north of Blyth, and would then be transported to the quayside by public transport for the event.

Any cars parked in the centre (Red Zone) not displaying the correct badge would be subject to a fixed penalty notice and may be liable to be towed away.

No mention has been made of charges, and despite repeated requests to the council for copies of proposed Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) to allow such traffic enforcement, the council has produced no information.

To be compliant the council is required to allow a six-week consultation before bringing TTROs into operation.

As residents, I and all my neighbours living in the town centre have had no consultation on this matter, which certainly questions the legality of any enforcement action the council should decide to proceed with.

It seems to me at this very late stage the traffic management plan for the regatta and it’s enforcement is open to question.

If Mr Walsh has evidence to the contrary then why have other residents living in the town centre been denied such information?

Perhaps Nigel Walsh, the regatta director, may care to publish updated information to avoid us all falling foul of the traffic regulations and being penalised.

T. Thepes