Saturday, 12 April 2008

On-Street Parking

The issue of on-street parking has been raised with me while I’ve been out canvassing…

Illegal parking is a major problem in Morpeth – almost to the point where double yellow lines are ignored. And it’s not people ‘just popping’ into the shops on Bridge Street or Newgate Street – it’s people parking in the residential streets around the town centre from Allery Banks and Middle Greens to Low Stanners, High Stanners and north of Howard Road – let alone the chaos of parents parking whilst they drop kids off for school.

There are reportedly, just seven active traffic wardens in the whole of Northumberland – and they visit Morpeth on the first Tuesday of the month. I did try to take a photo of a traffic warden on Oldgate, but it didn’t come out – almost as if it was an illusion.

The Borough Council has been trying for four or five years to get their car park attendants authorised to put fixed penalty tickets on cars parked illegally on-street – but has met resistance from the County Council for some reason. One of the good things about the new unitary authority (and I am looking hard to find them) is that we might get this sorted out finally.

Parking on pavements causes problems for people with buggies, wheelchairs and shopping trolleys – and can force pedestrians onto the road. There’s also a lot of damage to pavements caused not only by cars but also by wagons unloading from the pavement. Have you noticed how pavements around pubs and clubs in particular have been damaged by beer wagons unloading?
The council is responsible for repairing pavements and is liable to be sued if people trip – but unless we can stop pavements being damaged by cars and lorries, it’s an ongoing drain on council tax.

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