Parking charges set to be introduced at tourist hotspots in Northumberland
Northumberland County Council is introducing fees at the main car parks in the coastal communities of Bamburgh and Beadnell.
Coun Guy Renner-Thompson, Bamburgh ward county councillor, said: "As a council we are determined to balance the books while protecting frontline services and continuing to invest where it’s needed.
“Bamburgh car park had £300,000 spent on it three years ago, Seahouses and Craster car parks have had much-needed £500,000 investment this year, that money has to come from somewhere.
“Parking surveys have shown the vast majority of users of these car parks are tourists. Some have said it will put visitors off from coming, but tourists will not drive an hour to get here or pay £600 a week for a cottage just to turn around and go home just for the sake of £5 to park.
“I can't think of any other tourist destination in the country where parking is free, in Cornwall and the Lake District you’re expected to pay.
“The proposals are expected to raise £384,000 for the council and I would rather that money came from the car parks than out of tax rises for my constituents or cuts to services.
“Also as a result of the parking charges, extra enforcement will be on hand to crack down on illegal parking which is a huge problem in both villages, particularly in Bamburgh."
As a result of consultation with the public and the parish councils, new parking arrangements at Beadnell Bay will include a free hour for locals who regularly walk their dog on the beach.
In Bamburgh, the parking at beaches and in the village centre will remain free.
Ticket machines are due to be installed on August 12 and 13 and charging will start on Monday, August 19.
In May, new tariffs were introduced at several coastal car parks where parking charges were already in place - Craster, Seahouses, Holy Island, Newtown Steads and Low Newton.
New charges: Bamburgh: 3 hours – £3.50, all day – £5.50, 4 hours – £6 (coaches), all day – £8 (coaches). Beadnell: 1 hour – free, 3 hours – £1.50, all day – £3.