Image demonstrating Action plan to improve Alnwick parking

Action plan to improve Alnwick parking

An action plan has been developed to improve car parking in Alnwick.

Last year the County Council commissioned consultants to carry out parking studies and survey work in Alnwick, Berwick, Hexham and Morpeth, to help develop options for future parking needs in these towns.

The study found many of the issues identified were common to all of the towns, however there were also some key differences so bespoke strategies were  developed for each area.

Detailed work has been carried out to seek the views and opinions of the local county councillors, town councils and other key stakeholders on the findings of the consultants’ studies and get their recommendations on a range of potential measures to help address parking issues in their areas.

Individual parking action plans have now been developed for each of the four towns that build on the studies and take on-board the views and opinions of all stakeholders.

The County Council recognises that significant capital investment is required to address the parking issues being faced by some communities, and has therefore allocated £10m capital within the council’s Medium Term Financial Plan to fund parking improvements. This funding will be used to support the implementation of the four action plans in Alnwick, Morpeth, Berwick and Hexham, as well as being available to support business cases for parking improvements in other locations.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for Environment and Local Services, said: “Because so many people approached us when we first took over the administration of the council about problems with car parking, and with general congestion in town centres, we have been committed to finding  workable solutions to the county’s parking issues which have the support of residents, businesses, shoppers and visitors.

“While the studies have focused on the four main towns, we are also working with other communities to address the parking issues they face, including Craster, Amble and also at Morpeth and Alnmouth railway stations.

“While it’s clear that extra car parking is required in all four towns to address the existing parking problems and plan ahead for anticipated future housing growth and demand, just building more spaces will not solve the parking problems.

“This would just lead to extra traffic in the town centres and create even more reliance on car travel.

“That’s why a range of immediate, medium and longer term measures are being proposed within the action plans alongside increases in capacity to help manage demand and ensure our town centres remain attractive places to visit.”

In Alnwick proposals include a range of measures to improve turnover of parking spaces in the town centre to help support the local economy, such as:-
  • converting long stay spaces in Greenwell Road ‘A’ car park to short stay 3 hour spaces.
  • reducing Greenwell Road ‘D’ car park time limits from 4 hours to 3 hours.
  • converting the short stay bays on Bondgate Within from 2 hours to 30 minutes.
  • introducing a maximum 24 hour stay to all town centre long stay car parks.
  • providing extra on-street parking in Pottergate through changes to the existing Traffic Regulation Order to remove double yellow lines.

Other plans involve:
  • Undertaking a study to look at the feasibility and options for a seasonal park and ride scheme during the busy summer months.
  • Investigating potential new car park sites at the old Duchess High School site and St Michael’s school field.
  • Liaising with the Alnwick Garden about their role in helping to relieve town centre parking pressures

Alnwick County Councillor Gordon Castle said: “This is an important example of what we mean by localism and increased County Council engagement with town and parish councils.

“We have enabled Alnwick Town Council to base its proposals on independently provided  evidence, and we intend that these proposals are implemented as far as possible as soon as possible.

“There is no magic wand that will resolve such acute parking problems at peak periods, but these measures will assist greatly in improving the situation and there are others in the pipeline for the longer term.”

Alan Symmonds, Mayor of Alnwick, added: “The Town Council has been fully involved in the development of the comprehensive action plan and in particular, we hope that the measures will be help resolve some of the parking difficulties faced over the main visitor season.”

To see the full action plan for Alnwick go here
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