Coun. Richard Dodd, left, and Coun. Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services.
A CONSULTATION is under way over plans to more than double the number of spaces at a town centre car park.
Ponteland residents could see the car park between the Merton Way shopping centre and the Meadowfield industrial area of the town jump from 48 to 111 spaces.
The plans came about after county councillor Richard Dodd raised concerns about the lack of parking facilities in the area – with the existing provision struggling to cope with the demands placed on it by shoppers and others visiting the town centre.
At a meeting of Ponteland Town Council on Wednesday, he commented on the current ‘abuse’ of the car park, which he said included people sometimes leaving their cars for weeks while they go on holiday.
Under the proposed scheme, which would be carried out by Northumberland County Council, there would be 40 long-stay spaces, with either a 24 or 48-hour limit, and 71 short-stay spaces, including six blue badge holder bays.
Two walls would be removed to allow a new, one-way route around the car park, with a new raised pedestrian crossing enabling safe access to the Merton Way shops.
Coun. Dodd said the car park was ‘central to the vibrancy of the town centre,’ and asked whether town councillors would put any money towards the work.
The total cost of the parking improvements would be around £250,000, and Coun. Dodd has allocated £56,000 from his member’s local improvement schemes budget to the project.
Councillors agreed in principle to allocate £10,000 from their 2017/18 budget towards enhancing the scheme if it is approved, with suggestions that this could be used for landscaping.