Being a regular theatre goer to support the Tynemouth Operatics at Playhouse Whitley Bay and enjoying their excellent production of Aspects of Love, it was disappointing to return to my car and find a parking ticket on the windscreen.
I was not alone, about eight to ten cars were affected.
We had innocently parked on the cobbled area adjacent to the fence of the main car park of the Playhouse in Marine Gardens, Whitley Bay, for the evening performance on Wednesday, February 26.
I was running late and in looking for a space followed the car in front onto this area, clear of the road and obstructing no one.
It was dark so did not see the double yellow line, but viewing the situation when we came out of the theatre, we wondered why there is a restriction on this area of cobbled pavement when there appears to be no real need for it.
When I approached there were cars in front of me and we parked tidily on this broad expanse of cobbled area well off the road.
There were many concerned and annoyed theatre patrons who had just enjoyed an amazing production of this famous musical, produced and directed to professional standards with beautiful vocal presentation, and well done the the operatic society.
However, this feeling of enjoyment was soon evaporated and we wonder if these parking tickets had been issued by the police or parking wardens, working overtime.
It was a very cruel act and no doubt North Tyneside Council will receive many appeals to the PCNs and again ask the question – is this area targeted each evening to distress theatre goers?
In the dark on a busy evening, when patrons are searching for parking spaces, which are at a premium around 7pm, if this area is not for parking, it should be cordoned off so motorists are made more aware that they are not allowed to park there in the evening.
I, with the other concerned motorists, feel that this area should be unrestricted during theatre times when the main car park is on overflow.
If Whitley Bay wants to attract people to the town for the theatre and shopping, issuing parking tickets en masse in these circumstances is not the way to welcome people to the town when some Northumberland towns are introducing free parking.
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