Parking in Berwick Needs a Rethink

An Open Letter to Northumberland County Council

I complain about the unacceptable parking situation for commuters to Berwick-upon-Tweed and present a few suggestions for improvement that might help.

I have an office at Berwick Workspaces, commuting in from a nearby village about 15-20 minutes away by car. In the last six months it has taken me almost as long again each day to find all-day parking. I cannot use short-stay car parks as I cannot interrupt my work to move my car.

Introduction

I usually drive across Pudding Lane around 11am and visit all the long-stay car parks inside the walls: Hatters Lane, Coxons Lane, Parade & Foul Ford. More often than not these are all busy, so I head for the Quayside: usually this too is busy. Thus most days I resort to parking "on the grass" in Castlegate Overspill Carpark. The reason for my reluctance is that—as you no doubt know—it more resembles a muddy bog than a car park this this time of year.

The situation was just about tolerable until building work started on the Greaves West & Ayre (GWA) offices on Walkergate. Until then I was regularly able to find parking in Coxons Lane when I arrived, but since that work started being able to find a slot there has become the exception rather than the rule. As work started it was initially filled with builders' lorries and vans, and later (presumably) by GWA staff.

Problems

I think there are several elements that need to be addressed:

Recommendations

I posit that we need a thorough overhaul of parking in Berwick. Here are some suggestions for your consideration:

Conclusion

I don't think that any of the above recommendations will fix the parking problem on their own. Nor do I necessarily think adding more parking is the right solution. Rather, I believe a multi-pronged approach is required.

I realise that the existing parking disk is a County wide scheme, and the particular problem I describe is perhaps localised to Berwick. (I have no experience with other towns in the county, so cannot speak for them.) Thus introducing a disk, or additional charges, for long-stay parking could be a problem. However, it feels like introducing a commuter disk, and dedicated parking for carriers of such a disk, as a specific solution to a specific problem we have here that will have little impact to the rest of the county. Improving the quality of the surface and bay markings of existing parking sites should also give good result with no impact to the parking scheme anywhere else.

Contact

I refer you to my contact details should you wish to contact me about this open letter.

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