New traffic arrangements for visitor to Craster village
18 Mar 2021
New traffic calming measures are about to be introduced in the popular coastal village of Craster.
Craster village and local walks to Dunstanburgh and beyond are very popular with visitors to the Northumberland coast, but unfortunately the number of visitors trying to drive into the village has caused difficulties for local residents.
Northumberland County Council is set to introduce new traffic measures which will encourage visitors to park in the designated car park, which has footpaths directly into the village.
The traffic calming scheme will introduce restrictions including a ‘gateway’ where people will be prohibited from passing and driving further into the village unless it is to access their home or a business.
The road will be narrowed at that point, and signs and road markings will indicate that all visitors must park in the car park and use footpaths to access the village centre.
Local county councillor Wendy Pattison is supportive of the new scheme and has contributed funding from her local members small schemes budget to meet some of the costs.
She said “I am very pleased that this experimental scheme has been agreed, and particularly that we can expect it to be in place from Easter when people will start to be able to meet in limited numbers outdoors.
“The scheme will also have the additional benefits of improving the environment in the village and making it safer and more pleasant to visit. Social distancing between people from different households will still be in place for a little while yet and reducing the amount of traffic in the village will be very helpful for this too. It will also reduce the need for so many signs in the village itself.
Cllr Glen Sanderson, leader of council and cabinet member for local services said: “We have worked closely with the local county councillor and the parish council in developing this new scheme, and we hope that it will strike a good balance between the needs of local businesses and residents and those of the many visitors who come to enjoy the local area each year.
“We encourage everyone to drive and park safely and considerately when visiting our popular coastal villages, but there has been a lot of indiscriminate parking in Craster over the years, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We very much hope people enjoy their visits to our beautiful coastline, but also consider the needs of local residents and businesses too.”
Chair of Craster Parish Council Coun. Martin Smith said: “We know that this scheme has been given very careful consideration by the Highways team at the county council and is a quick win that has been implemented immediately and after review other measures will be considered if necessary.
“Parking is a serious concern for local residents in the village. This is by far the biggest source of complaints to the Parish Council and last year, as the country came out of a national lockdown, matters reached a tipping point for our community as the enormous influx of visitors and the levels of displaced and inconsiderate parking caused havoc for many in Craster. Whilst we welcome tourism as vitally important to our local economy and for sustaining employment, the parking situation in Craster simply cannot and must not be allowed to continue as is at present. The Parish Council has voted in favour of this scheme on a trial basis and we will be part of the ongoing review process to assess the effectiveness of this scheme.
We very much hope that this, along with the overflow car park facility the Parish Council has been working to arrange, will help to alleviate the problems of parking in our community.”
The measures and restrictions are being brought in an experimental basis, to allow monitoring and amendments should these be found to be necessary.
The temporary village overflow car park arranged by Craster Parish Council will also be used to manage traffic during popular visiting times.