Problem parking causing concern in South Shields Market Place

Coun Lee Hughes unhappy with parking in South Shields Market Place.
Coun Lee Hughes unhappy with parking in South Shields Market Place.

Motorists driving around a South Shields’ historic Market Place are putting pedestrians at risk, says a concerned councillor.

Coun Lee Hughes has become alarmed by the number of cars driving around and parking in the area.

He says there were three near misses outside the Wilko store last week and hopes a solution can be found before the town’s new digital library The Word opens in the area next month.

The Putting People First representative for the Bede ward said: “There’s cars parked on both sides of the road, people are trying to cross between cars and drivers aren’t leaving gaps - it’s dangerous.

“I know of three near misses last week, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets knocked over.

“I am also worried that once The Word opens it will get even worse, as people are naturally going to want to visit it and if they can park for free near to the front then they probably will.

“There’s no yellow lines round the market to deter people and some drivers are driving straight up onto the market area.”

South Tyneside Council has revealed there are proposals to restrict vehicle access during the day to create a pedestrian-friendly zone.

There will be additional loading bays, and access for residents and businesses will be maintained at all times via the eastern access road.

The proposed parking restrictions would be enforceable through signs only.

Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “There have always been parking restrictions in the Market Place, but recently, because of the ongoing work to refurbish the area and construct The Word, there has been irregular and inconsiderate parking which is a safety hazard and is causing problems for local businesses.

“There is a brand new 40-space car park at Harton Quays for people visiting The Word, in addition to more than 300 free parking spaces in the town.”

The proposed restrictions are currently in the consultation period, which is due to end on October 14.