Image demonstrating Residents' views sought on Alnmouth Station parking plans

Residents' views sought on Alnmouth Station parking plans

Residents are being invited to a special drop-in event to give their views on plans for new  trial parking arrangements at Hipsburn village and Alnmouth Railway Station.

It follows long-standing issues about parking at the station and the neighbouring village of Hipsburn, with residents’ drives being blocked, access difficulties for bus operators and some people leaving cars at the council owned station car park for weeks on end.

The county council has been working closely with local county councillors Gordon Castle and Robbie Moore along with Lesbury Parish Council on finding a long-term sustainable solution.

There are currently two car parks at the station, one owned by the county council and the other managed by Northern Rail. Neither currently charges for parking.

Now the council is proposing a pilot scheme which involves introducing charges of £3 a day on their carpark to help manage demand, with a maximum 72-hour stay restriction already due to come into effect this summer being implemented so spaces are prioritised for use by regular commuters.

This would be supplemented with a resident only permit parking scheme in Hipsburn and extra single  yellow lines in the village to prevent illegal and anti-social parking in the area.

Income generated from the charges will cover the cost of implementing the new arrangements and also help contribute towards a study to identify long-term improvements to parking capacity and facilities at the station, as well as any changes to existing layouts/landscaping within the car park that can be implemented quickly to provide some extra capacity.

Any remaining income will help contribute to the delivery of vital public services in the county, such as highway maintenance.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for environment and local services at the county council said: “Following the public consultation event held by Lesbury Parish Council that looked at different options to address the parking issues at Alnmouth Railway Station and Hipsburn, we have been working with the parish council and local county councillors to develop a comprehensive solution for the area.

“We know there is frustration and annoyance from Hipsburn residents about anti-social and dangerous parking in the village, while some people are leaving cars parked in our station car park for days and sometimes weeks on end, taking up spaces which are designed for commuters. We also need to look at how best we can manage current demand for parking spaces and to plan ahead for future needs.”

“To ensure a scheme is developed that works for both residents and travellers we want local people to get involved and I’d encourage as many people as possible to take part in our drop-in session.”

Alnwick County Councillor Gordon Castle said: “I very much welcome these proposals that have been a long time coming but which have closely involved the parish council on behalf of local people whose lives have been adversely affected by problem parking.

“The county council wants people to feel that their views on local policies count through their local parish councils. The residents parking proposals are for a trial period that will be properly evaluated.”

Councillor Doug Hunter, Chair of Lesbury Parish Council, said: "Residents are affected by ever-increasing parking problems around the station and it's important we look to address these issues. We're working closely with the County Council and the local County Councillors to identify a solution that works for all.

"We'd encourage our parishoners to go along to the drop in session to find out more or fill in a feedback form they'll be getting so that they can have their say on these proposals. It’s important to note that this is a trial and residents will be consulted with again at the end of the trial period for feedback on whether the scheme has worked and the situation has improved.

“We are also working towards identifying longer-term sustainable solutions to the parking problem too."

The drop-in session will be held at Lesbury Village Hall from  3.30pm to 7.30pm on 28th June. Details of the proposals will be on display and council officers will be there to answer any queries.

The county council will then consider the feedback and, depending on the outcome, the trial could be introduced later this summer.
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