AS one of the organisers of the first Tynemouth Classic Volkswagen Rally, I would like to shout out a great big thank you to the wonderful Volkswagen community for their enthusiasm, passion and commitment to making this a successful event.
Owners travelled from as far a field as Scotland to be with us on the day.
Also to the 3,000-plus visitors who came to the village to join in and lined the streets to wave at the convoy, to the businesses who sponsored the event and to North Tyneside Council for being so supportive.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Tynemouth Business Forum, it was started in January 2011 by its chairman John Keddy, from Children of the Revolution clothing store.
We now have more than 30 members, and the Volkswagen rally is a shining example of what people can achieve if they work together.
None of the individuals who worked on the event made any personal profit yet they gave huge amounts of time, talent, knowledge and expertise to this event.
They attracted large amounts of new visitors and revenue into the area and I cannot thank them enough.
On a more personal level, and I am not speaking on behalf of the forum, I would like to address some of the letters published in the News Guardian about the recent parking changes in the village, a lot of the businesses in Tynemouth do not want or have parking directly outside their stores.
I personally think that a pedestrian-only Front Street using good quality materials would look fantastic, however, I do think that some attractive signage to clearly let visitors to the village know where they can park rather than where they cannot would be a big help.
Priors Haven is never full, even when visitors are frantically driving around the village looking for a parking space.
Tynemouth is a thriving village, however, since these changes have been implemented it has had a very negative impact on daytime footfall.
As most evening visitors arrive by taxi it is only the shops that will suffer, and with the imminent arrival of a supermarket to contend with, this cannot be good news.
The shops in Tynemouth are lucky enough to be very well supported by local people, but many of our customers drive here, especially to visit us from Morpeth, Durham and surrounding areas.
These people come by car and the new parking scheme is frightening them away.
While the garden in Newcastle city centre is a lovely idea, Newcastle stores are surrounded by car parks, so this is a different issue.
Would it not be better if visitors to the village were allowed to park between 10am to 4pm? This would allow residents only in the evenings.
We are looking out from our stores at empty streets throughout the day.
I do hope that residents, businesses and North Tyneside Council can work together to get a solution that’s right for everyone.
n Volkswagen rally – Pages 34 & 35