Published at 09:10, Monday, 18 June 2012
IS there no end to the controversy about parking in Hexham? Who is taking a lead, to reach a sensible solution for the town, its residents, shoppers, visitors and traders?
Having read many articles and letters on this subject in recent weeks, I wonder if we don’t need some more radical thinking about town centre parking in Hexham.
From my knowledge, other small towns in the North have managed to regenerate their centres, making them more attractive to shoppers and visitors and building on the sense of history and heritage that they present.
Look at Knaresborough, Richmond and, to some extent, Alnwick, and no doubt many others. Bear in mind that none of these has a centre as potentially imposing, unique and imbued with history as Hexham’s Market Place.
What about a one-way system for Beaumont Street, the Market Place and upper Market Street, with a very low speed limit (e.g. 10mph), and resulting increased parking on both these streets (all angled parking, like alongside the Sele fence at the moment)?
Then it would be possible to do away with the unsightly parking outside the Abbey entrance (have you ever managed to see the wonderful Abbey façade without cars!) and in the Market Place itself, with just a necessary allocation of spaces for disabled parking.
A well differentiated parking pricing policy, with a transparent rationale, might even earn enough cash to finance a sensitive re-development of the market place area, and convince us that parking charges in Hexham are a price worth paying!
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk