Split views on driving issues surrounding South Shields Market

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

Parking issues in South Shields market have proved to be quite the talking point among Gazette readers.

Coun Lee Hughes has become concerned at the number of cars being driven around and parking in the town’s Market Place.

He says there were three near misses with pedestrians last week and hopes a solution can be found.

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.

However, readers have visited the Gazette’s website and Facebook page to express their views.

Lynsey Simmons thinks lack of space is the issue.

She said: “Shouldn’t be able to bring vehicles into the market square full stop. There are too many pedestrians around and clearly not enough space!

Peter Charlton was nearly injured by a car. He sent: “Yesterday I was walking past the Address towards Wilkos and a looked towards Wilkos to cross the road and I nearly got wiped out by a car coming in the opposite direction.”

But Mason Brimble believes it’s the pedestrians who are at fault.

He said: “If pedestrians use there eyes then theirs no problem, its a 20MPH zone, if you’re stupid enough to walk on the road and get hit by a car because you didn’t look then it’s your own fault, only a matter of time before they put parking meters here.”

Steven Johnston shares similar views.

He said: “Really it’s the pedestrians who are causing havoc they seem to think that it’s a footpath now (they just cross over without looking).

Steve Smigs Smith believes it’s a ploy for more parking fines.

He sent: “Translated. The council want to start introducing more fines and rearrange the roads yet again to force people to use the paying car parks. I don’t know why they feel the need to use pedestrians as an excuse.

“Can anyone remember how many accidents in the 80’s when they had the buses and cars going around the market square and the market was rammed? Think I might remember one and yup, it was pedestrian error.”

A diplomatic Paul Gray believes it’s hard to differentiate between the footbath and the road.

He added: “ Problem being no one really knows what it is supposed to be, road or pedestrian area. Made worse by the fact that pedestrians have come from the pedestrian precinct in King Street and believe it is just a continuation.”