The £60,000 cost of free parking
It followed a pledge to build a multi-storey car park from the former Labour administration at County Hall.
“More and more potential customers and clients are coming into Hexham concerned about receiving tickets and, if you talk to any of the traders, they’ll tell you their footfall has decreased,” he said.
But a short-term solution to relieve some of the pressure appears to be on the horizon.
For council officials are understood to have been in Hexham on Wednesday to paint 50 temporary long-stay bays on the town’s former fire station site.
Work is still being carried out to assess the potential future uses of the site at the Tyne Mills Industrial Estate, which was badly damaged during Storm Desmond in December 2015.
It is hoped staff from nearby businesses will use the site for all day parking and free up some of the sought after long-stay spaces in the Wentworth Car Park.
Conservative county councillor for Hexham East, Cath Homer, said the action had been long-awaited.
“Finally, after years of work on this issue, I am able to say that the current council administration is looking at a parking strategy across the county,” she explained.
“In my opinion, that needs to be done on a town by town basis, but it will involve taking an in depth look at what is needed in each area.
“The commitment is very much still there to address the long-standing parking problems in Hexham and replace all the long-stay parking we have lost.”
She added that talks were ongoing between the council and the owners of three key sites in Hexham to discuss their potential for all day parking.
HOW THE FIGURES STACK UP
Location Income received - April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017
Beaumont Street £8,403
Gilesgate (short stay) £1,231.72
Loosing Hill £933
Market Place £3,516
Market Street £1,907
Prospect House £889
St Mary’s Wynd £1,300
Wentworth (short stay) £12,257
Wentworth (medium stay) £22,667
Wentworth (long stay) £1,795
Wentworth (HGV & coach park) £50