Traders calling for rethink on cost of car parking

TRADERS are calling for more uniformity on the cost of parking in Whitley Bay town centre.

Shop owners say that some visitors are being put off coming to the town because of confusion over its various parking arrangements.

Parking in some streets is free, but elsewhere motorists face charges of a penny a minute or 50p an hour.

Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade is now in discussions with North Tyneside Council officials and ward councillors over possible ways of remedying the situation.

Deputy chamber chairman Lisa Mitchell, pictured, said: “We have asked for more uniformity with charging in the town.

“We have found that customers don’t oppose a charging fee as such. It’s the lack of uniformity that’s the problem.

“They have also found a lack of signage for car parks is an issue.

“Chamber members have come forward with a lot of suggestions as to what we could do with parking to bring people in.

“Those suggestions have gone to the council, and we’ll hold a further meeting once we’ve had time to look at the information.

“We want to keep Park View and Whitley Road free for short-stay car parking, so we’ve got a quick turnover of spaces.

“We want clearer signage around the town and on ticket machines.”

Traders are also keen to create more parking spaces, with Marden Road being earmarked as a possible location.

Mrs Mitchell, owner of Escape Boutique in Park View, added that one of the suggestions put forward was that the road be widened and its verge strengthened to allow cars to park on both sides of the road.

A council spokesperson said: “We recently met with Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade to listen to their ideas for improvements to parking arrangements in and around Whitley Bay town centre.

“We are currently giving their proposals careful consideration and will be meeting again with the chamber in the near future to discuss how they might be taken forward.”