Cramlington residents asked to pay to park outside their homes

Anger has been voiced in Cramlington after residents were asked to pay to park outside their homes

L-R Alan Potts, Alex Martin, Veronica Scott and Gillian Lumsdon, who are angry about parking changes on Station Road in Cramlington
L-R Alan Potts, Alex Martin, Veronica Scott and Gillian Lumsdon, who are angry about parking changes on Station Road in Cramlington

PEOP living in a Northumberland town are up in arms after a council made them pay to park outside their homes.

People living on Station Road in Cramlington are angry after Northumberland County Council introduced a resident’s permit which requires them to pay £15 a year to park on their street.

The council has also introduced no waiting outside some homes in the area, which again is said to have annoyed people living and working there.

A petition opposing the changes has been mounted, which two-thirds of residents have signed.

But council bosses insist residents were “supportive” of both the permit and no waiting zone in consultations.

The council introduced the permit scheme – which allows two cars to park per household – and the no waiting restrictions on Osborne Terrace, earlier this month.

Lifelong Station Road resident Alan Potts, 64, was so angry at being asked to pay to park outside his home, he set up the petition.

There are 39 households, and 42 people from 24 of them – 66% of the total – signed up, and the signatures have now been handed in to the county council.

Mr Potts said residents had struggled to park outside their homes because of people who work at the nearby Manor Walks shopping centre leaving their vehicles there.

He said: “We feel this is undemocratic. I could not have a wedding or a funeral or anything.

“Why should we have to pay to park at our own front doors? Why should the council tell me I can only have one visitor’s car at one time? Any restriction of this nature must have an affect on the value of the properties.

“If I was looking to buy a house with double yellow lines I would not be interested in purchasing that house.”

Mr Potts said residents and one business at Osborne Terrace are angry at the no waiting restriction there which will prevent them parking outside their properties at all.

A council spokeswoman said: “In response to requests from residents, and with the support of the local county councillor, we agreed to investigate parking issues on Station Road. These relate to parking pressures due to nearby businesses and concerns about visibility when accessing driveways.

“A consultation was sent to affected residents in January 2013 with a proposal to introduce ‘resident permit parking’ and ‘no waiting’ restrictions where appropriate.

“The response was supportive, but looking at the comments in detail it was felt necessary to carry out a second consultation in July 2013.

“The second consultation sought to address some additional safety concerns in the immediate vicinity of Osborne Terrace. The response was, again, supportive overall.

“A further period of statutory consultation has now been carried out to notify residents and the wider public of our intentions to introduce a scheme. A number of comments have been submitted in response to this, which have been very useful in our inves tigations.

“The residents affected have offered further suggestions that will be taken into consideration in the final scheme.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer