Phased approach to carpark re-opening
20 May 2020 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
The council is taking a phased approach to re-opening its coastal and visitor car parks as public safety remains a top priority.
Of the 53 car parks currently shut, 42 will re-open by Friday, May 22. The remainder will remain closed at this time.
While four country parks re-opened earlier this month as lockdown restrictions began to ease, more work needed to be done across car parks to ensure public safety.
We have considered factors such as the ability to socially distance both within the carpark and the surrounding area, the impact on and the views of the local community and where vehicles might otherwise park and cause problems if the car park remained shut.
Signage will be updated at the carparks reminding people that they must maintain social distancing measures at all times, that meeting in groups is not permitted and to maintain good hand hygiene. People are still being urged to stay at home as much as possible at this time.
The council has looked carefully at whether or not it can reopen its public toilets, and reluctantly has taken the decision that it cannot at this time.
It has a responsibility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, to ensure that the facilities are safe for the public to use and to protect its staff who maintain the toilets. After carrying out detailed risk assessments of the facilities it's concluded that in the short term it need to keep the toilets closed. Visitors are asked to bear the closures in mind when planning their journeys.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “We want to reiterate that while lockdown is easing slightly, the pandemic is by no means over.
“It was vital we took a cautious approach, and kept our car parks closed until we fully assessed it is safe to open them.
“Although some are now re-opening we would ask people when they do go out to exercise to do so with caution, keep their distance and respect the local communities.
“We know how much our coastline and countryside means to people but we are duty bound to be cautious.
“We’ve taken a very careful and considered approach and this has been a difficult decision but we feel on balance we should open up a number of them to the public.
“We would ask that if people do travel somewhere to exercise, to be respectful and sensible and not block roads where people live.”
Car parks that charge to park will continue to do so. The council will keep the car park openings under review and the situation may change depending on local or national developments.
The council is not encouraging people to make unnecessary journeys and must ask people to be considerate when parking.
Car parks opening by Friday, May 22:
Amble, Island View
Amble, Beacon Hill
Amble, Togston Links
Ashington, Blackclose Dene
Ashington, Hirst Park
Ashington, Wansbeck Riverside Park
Berwick, Pier Field
Berwick, Sandy Beach
Spittal, South Greenwich road
Spittal, Sandstell Road
Blyth, The Ranch
Cambois, Level Crossing
Cambois, Beach House
Blyth, Ridley Park
East Cramlington LNR (both)
Cresswell, Golden sands
Newbiggin Church Point
Newton-By-The-Sea, Newton Steads
Seaton Sluice, Holywell Dene
Seaton Sluice, Old Hartley
Seaton Sluice, Fountain Head
Warkworth, Dunes Road
Warkworth, Beach Road
Bedlington Country Park (both sites)
Car parks remaining closed:
Amble, Paddlers Park
Bamburgh, Links Road
Berwick, Castlegate Overflow
Holy Island, Green Lane
Holy Island, Chare Ends
High Newton, Newton-By-The-Sea
Seahouses, Station Yard
Rothbury, Beggars Rigg
Wylam (Tyne Riverside Country Park)