It is time for tough love

TYNEMOUTH, as we are all aware, is a beautiful part of the world and somewhere that people of all ages in the region are very proud of.

With its historic coastline and vibrant shops and bars it really is a jewel in the crown of North Tyneside.

Why is it then, that North Tyneside Council has such a conflict of interest towards it?

To the credit of both residents and businesses, the village has adapted and become a flourishing and cosmopolitan asset.

But there is now a problem that has become complicated and completely unnecessary.

It has drawn battle lines between both residents and businesses that were never there before. Why is this?

Additional parking is imperative to Tynemouth as visitor numbers have increased, so focusing on this issue should be pivotal to save the village, everyone agrees with that.

However, the council, instead of listening to concerns of both residents and businesses, have compounded this problem.

Firstly, by digging up the road twice. Who did the council consult before coming to this decision? Why weren’t businesses consulted what would be best for them?

Last winter’s bad weather together with the disruption of the Metro and the recession brought panic and despair to businesses in the village, but instead of finding out what would be best for everyone, the council did what it thought would be best to sustain political votes and help the residents obtain parking permits.

Businesses are prepared for negativity with the recession but frustratingly the council has made things worse by road works, not supplying additional parking for the public and increasing the taxi ranks.

Where was the research and what evidence is based upon these changes?

And what about the safety aspect? All you need is for a fire engine trying to get down Front Street on a busy Saturday trying to get past all the traffic driving around trying to get a parking space where they have narrowed the road and you have a potential tragedy on your hands.

It is not rocket science to work out what will happen to Tynemouth Village – an increase of bars which is what happened to Whitley Bay, which was another jewel in the crown of North Tyneside.

A snapshot of Tynemouth throughout the day is people trying to get parked, then driving off in frustration, over zealous traffic wardens and a taxi rank which is not needed through the day.

Petitions have been handed out to businesses and on the comments part of the petition the public have complained of the same thing – a lack of parking.

Parking permits are an important factor for residents but ignoring businesses issues have marginalised residents and businesses who once upon a time got on well.

If the council started listening to everyone – both residents and businesses – it would see that it is simple, more parking helps everyone and makes Tynemouth the village people want to live in, work in and visit.

This does not mean spending a lot of money or ruining the village, it means maintaining Tynemouth’s historic conservation features and integrity.

If the council finally realised that there is a different way forward, get the information and details right in the first place and consult with everyone, then this mess can be sorted out quickly and the village can move forward.

If the council want Tynemouth to flourish and prosper then don’t put obstacles in its way and start listening to everyone.

It’s time for tough love, North Tyneside Council, and for you to have a dialogue with businesses and residents, and let’s hope it won’t take too long.