Image demonstrating New plans to improve parking in and around Alnmouth Station

New plans to improve parking in and around Alnmouth Station

Plans have been announced for the next stage of measures to improve parking at Alnmouth Station and Hipsburn.
The success of the station, which has seen a significant increase in passenger numbers of over 20% in the past five years to 312,000 in 2016/17 has been welcomed by the County Council.
The station provides an increasingly important transport link for people in North Northumberland who commute for work and the increase also highlights the growing appeal of the area for tourists and visitors.
However, this success has created growing parking issues 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 to develop solutions to this problem and earlier this year residents were invited to a special drop-in event to give their views on plans for new  trial parking arrangements in the area.
The council has now reviewed and considered the feedback from the consultation exercise, which generated around 100 responses and two petitions.

Feedback showed there was currently a lack of support for the introduction of the proposed residents permit parking scheme, so it has been decided that this will not be progressed.

However, it has been agreed to implement new parking restrictions in the form of single yellow lines in Hipsburn that will restrict on-street parking from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. It will be possible to park on single yellow lines outside these times, and the revised scheme aims to ensure that access is maintained for buses and emergency vehicles.

Parking charges will also be introduced in the council-owned station carpark. However, in response to feedback that the proposed £3 per day charge was too high, it will be reduced to £1.50 per day and the Council has already brought in a maximum 72 hour stay restriction in its car park to prevent people leaving cars parked for weeks on end.

Any residual income from the car park will protect County Council frontline services and help fund future investment in transport connections and parking provision at the station.

The county council will also offer funding towards helping the parish council produce a parking masterplan for the area.

County Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for Environment and Local Services, said: “Our aim has always been to ensure any scheme works for both residents and travellers and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to visit the public exhibition and who responded to the consultation exercise.

“We feel these solutions have taken on-board the feedback. People can be assured we will monitor and review the effectiveness of these changes, including a formal review after 12 months that will include asking people’s opinions again, to help us ensure that we can move forward together to minimise the problems being caused by the success of the station in attracting more rail users.”

Alnwick County Councillors Gordon Castle and Robbie Moore added: “We are both satisfied with the balance of measures proposed, which take into account the points made by consultees, including parish councillors, and offer a way forward for residents needing some control over street parking and station users needing their cars to travel to this rural station.

“The charges are necessary, but not punitive and there will be a review of all measures in 12 months.”
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