Council bosses are preparing to take action over a parking problem which neighbouring residents claim is caused by their own staff.
Concerns have been raised in recent months about South Tyneside Council workers parking in streets around South Shields Town Hall, in Westoe Road, rather than paying to use the staff car park
South Tyneside Council is now getting set to introduce permit parking in Broughton Road, Lyndhurst Street, Selbourne Street and South Woodbine Street - and double yellow lines in back lanes.
During the day, lines of parked cars can currently be seen in the streets and back lanes around the town hall.
The action comes after councillors heard that 74% of residents had backed plans for a new permit scheme.
The streets used to have permit parking but it was removed at the request of residents.
Parking services officer, Trevor Mackie, told the Riverside Community Area Forum the process involved “starting from scratch again.”
He said: “The problem is that there’s more staff at the town hall and most streets are fully parked up during the day. The demand for parking is quite excessive in those streets now.”
Coun Angela Hamilton raised concerns that the new scheme could displace traffic to Erskine Road.
She added: “I’m aware that a lot of staff park in those back lanes so I think, before its implemented, it might be a good idea to try and communicate to staff that its going to be put into place.”
In response to a request from Coun John Anglin, Mr Mackie said a report would be produced in future to look at the wider impact of parking availability in the town centre.
Coun Anglin said: “In years to come we’re going to build a multi-storey car park but before that we have this period where there has been a huge influx of cars at the town hall and into the town generally.
“I would like to see something a bit more concrete about what we’re going to do about the car parks.”
One resident, who didn’t want to be named, welcomed the planned parking changes.
He said: “I think it’s a good thing. All these cars parking in the back lanes are a safety issue. You couldn’t get an ambulance up there.
“I’m happy something has happened but I think it should be a permit scheme in the back lanes. If you can enforce it in the front, you can enforce it in the back. You don’t have to spend the money putting the lines down.”
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman added: “The council is now in the process of formally informing affected residents of the consultation outcome and giving details of how the scheme would operate.
“It is also arranging for the necessary legal requirements to be put in place, including public notices placed on site over a statutory 21-day period and advertised in the press.
“This gives other members of the public an opportunity to express their views on the proposals, before a decision is made in due course.”
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service