Parking issue never about traders against residents

TWO letters regarding the parking mess in Tynemouth (News Guardian, December 8) cannot go unchallenged.

The ‘consultation’ may have been lengthy and open to anyone with an interest, but as the owner of commercial and residential property in Front Street for more than 20 years, it completely passed me by.

I got a weeks’ notice that they were going to dig up the road, and I am not alone.

There is definitely no additional parking in Front Street, there are actually 20 less parking bays.

The council is legally obligated to debate the issues because Tynemouth Business Forum presented them with a petition signed by thousands – residents and visitors.

People who park cars over someone else’s driveway or garage should be ticketed and fined heavily, but ignorance like this is not the fault of shop owners.

The council has not ‘bent over backwards’ to assist, it has been snail-like in its responses.

New signage was never the answer, many motorists don’t understand the system and are immediately punished with a large parking fine.

There is certainly no reduction in revenue to the council as it benefits via fines.

Does not the assumption that some shops sell ‘non essential’ items not reek of arrogance?

I don’t buy make-up, I don’t bet and I don’t use an optician, but I wouldn’t expect shops that sell these items to close.

We could take that further, some people don’t drink so let’s close the pubs, don’t have a car, don’t have children, don’t eat chips ... Let’s get real, shops and businesses in Tynemouth provide a massive boost to the local economy and they need support from local people and they need visitors.

Like it or not, most people will not walk very far to patronize businesses and if the parking is too difficult, they just go elsewhere.

This has happened in Tynemouth and it hasn’t been weeks, it has been months since the restrictions were introduced.

People have gone out of business and some people are in the process of going out of business.

We all know we are going through a recession, so given that fact, businesses who contribute large sums to local councils via business rates alone and who are not asking for a penny of help from the council, who employ local people, should not be severely hampered by ill thought out schemes as has been the case.

This parking debacle was never about shops versus local residents, they have lived alongside for well over 100 years and they can easily co-exist.

One of the many proposals given to the council was a scheme to share some of the vast amount of parking spaces that lay empty during most weekdays leaving them vacant for residents to use in the evening.

This of course requires traffic management and not just the doling out of tickets.

Some businesses in Tynemouth do seem to be doing well, most of them do not rely on people needing a car or are for people who are in no particular hurry, and I hope they continue to do well.

But unless correspondents want a village full of only pubs and bars and restaurants, and of course, empty boarded up shops, then they need to modify their stance.