New calls for action on station parking

Berwick Railway Station Car Park
Berwick Railway Station Car Park

Berwick Town Council has renewed its calls for action to ease chronic parking congestion in and around Berwick railway station.

It tops the wishlist put forward for consideration in Northumberland County Council’s Local Transport Plan for 2015/16.

The station car park is often close to capacity by mid-morning, forcing rail passengers to park on surrounding streets which is causing problems for local residents.

It had been hoped the introduction of free parking elsewhere in the town centre earlier this year might ease the problem but that has not proved the case.

Indeed, the fact parking charges are still in place at the station may have exacerbated the problem for nearby streets.

Councillor John Robertson said: “We’ve asked for additional car parking at Berwick railway station for several years but the situation has still not been resolved.

“It’s an issue for residents of Castle Terrace and Castle Drive and for commuters who use the railway station.

“We need to keep the pressure on the county council to find a solution.”

Councillor Gordon McLean raised the possibility of an additional tier, an idea pushed by former councillor Brian Douglas for many years, but was told this was unlikely to happen because of archaeological issues - the station lies on the remains of Berwick Castle.

The possibility of extra parking on the north side of the platform has also been looked at in the past but there are concerns about costs, access and safety.

However, there is some hope on the horizon.

Councillor Gavin Jones revealed: “There is a budget for it and it’s being looked at at the moment.

“There needs to be a solution and that’s where officers are stuck at the moment because it involves multi-parties.”

The town council has also called for the introduction of better facilities for cyclists as its second priority and the Marygate on-street parking trial as its third priority.

Councillor Jones said: “It’s going through the system but unfortunately nothing seems to happen as fast as I would like it to.”