Disgraceful hike in cost of parking

After living at the coast for over 50 years, it has always been since the demise of the Tynemouth and Whitley borough councils that these areas have consistently been of less priority in terms of long-term upgrading, etc,let alone annual care and attention.

Though never being a political person myself, as I feel politicians and councillors from all parties are as bad as each other, it is each other’s fault for not regenerating the coast over many years.

I would never disagree that some finances should be spread to help others and improve quality of services for all, just it has never been consistent across North Tyneside Council.

The recent car park increases at the coastal car parks is quite simply disgraceful.

Sorry, but no one in the present climate can justify any argument for putting up charges by 50 per cent.

The council spokesman in the News Guardian last week is so full of contradictions it is unbelievable.

‘To keep car parking charges to an absolute minimum across North Tyneside’.How can they when many car parks, ‘all’ in some cases such as in Wallsend, Killingworth etc, are free anyway!

They also shoot themselves when stating that ‘the increase is solely for the seafront’. So how can it be a consideration ‘across’ North Tyneside?

‘Income from car parks covers maintenance’, therefore that must mean that income from the coastal car parks pays for the maintenance across all car parks as so many others are free.

Lighting – does that not come out of everyone’s council tax anyway? What lights are used in these car parks between 9 am and 6pm in the spring, summer and early autumn months?

Finally, ‘requests from residents for extra enforcement’.Tell me, how many residents live at the lighthouse car park? It is actually mainly coastal residents that use these car parks throughout the year to walk their dogs, go for family walks, etc. hence why we live at the coast.

The main problem is all of the litter left by the visitors, but should that not be covered by normal council tax spending anyway as the seafront has always been there but now with many less visitors than previously?

Interesting how the council has also suspended the local resident coastal car parks pass – ‘under review’. Anyone around to tell us why?

Having purchased a Northumberland Country Parks pass for the past few years, I interestingly received a letter last week that they have now decided to stop charging for car parking in these visitor attractions. Guess where I’m going dog-walking now, rather than my own beautiful coastline!

So, how do they pay for maintenance and lighting at their car parks?

I guess out of normal council tax, encouraging visitors and removing non-essential jobs that cost just as much to cover anyway.

Ian Weston