Parking ban in town ‘came out of the blue’
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
RESIDENTS and business owners in a busy Barnard Castle town centre street have been hit by a parking ban they claim has been introduced out of the blue.
Business owner Sarah Robert, who has a workshop on Newgate, said no-waiting cones appeared out of the blue on the morning of Saturday, February 1, and have remained in place every since.
She added: “At first I thought they had probably something to do with the weekend road closures on the A66, but when they were just left there I wondered.”
Ms Robert said the cones, which have blocked off about 11 parking spots, weren’t there on the first weekend closure, but appeared during the second and have remained in situ ever since.
She said: “I contacted Highways England and they said they didn’t know anything.”
Eventually Ms Robert was directed to Durham County Council, but no action to remove the cones has been taken.
“It’s just really frustrating. There are about ten businesses here and the householders also use those spaces. They don’t seem to care about the residents or businesses here.”
Ms Roberts said there had been no advance warning of the parking restrictions and no information had been passed onto them.
She added: “When they do the parking restrictions for Appleby Fair they ensure residents of Bridgegate are able to park in the Hole in the Wall car park.
“However, there is no signage or information at all for us and we still don’t know who has put the cones out.
“The problem is with no cars parked there it is having a detrimental effect during the night as the HGVs are bombing through here.”
A spokesperson for Highways England said a request had been sent to Durham County Council for the cones to be put out following the weekend closure to ensure the free flow of traffic on the street.
He added: “The parked vehicles on the side of the road were reducing Newgate to a single lane road.
“Our project manager did report the cones were still out (during the week), but that is a county council issue.”
Dave Wafer, strategic traffic manager at Durham County Council, added: “We have placed the no waiting cones in response to concerns about cars parked on both sides of Newgate causing an obstruction, especially to HGV’s using Abbey Bridge as part of Highways England’s A66 roadworks diversion.
“Newgate has unrestricted parking on one side of the road and a single yellow line on the other.
“This yellow line prevents parking during the day but allows parking after 6pm. The cones have been put out on a weekend to prevent people parking after 6pm to coincide with the diversion being in place.
“Residents who are unable to park on the opposite side of the road are able to make use of the adjacent off street carpark which is free after 6pm.”