Parking warning re-issued

Councillor Rob Crute
Councillor Rob Crute

A COUNCILLOR has re-issued a warning to drivers about parking regulations on a busy shopping street.

Blackhall representative on Durham County Council, Councillor Rob Crute, says there have been a number of “near-misses” as cars and vans mount the kerb to park in the village’s Middle Street.

He wants to send a repeat warning to drivers that double yellow lines in the street, which is a busy shopping area on a main link road between Hartlepool and Peterlee, are now enforceable.

Coun Crute previously warned motorists that the lines had been left unfinished for many years following roadworks.

This led to many drivers taking advantage of the situation by parking outside shops, knowing the parking laws were not enforceable.

Earlier this year the yellow lines were reinstated properly but drivers continue to park on them – perhaps unaware that they are now fully enforceable, says Coun Crute.

He added: “This has led to a number of near-misses recently where cars and vans have almost hit pedestrians while mounting the kerb to park.

“Following the most recent incident last week I contacted the parking enforcement team at County Hall to request an increased presence of traffic wardens in the area.

“The lines are now enforceable but the message doesn’t appear to be getting through.

“While I am primarily concerned about the safety of pedestrians in Middle Street I don’t want to see drivers unnecessarily fined as this might act as a deterrent to people visiting the village, when times are quite tight financially anyway.

“Hopefully if people are made aware that parking laws will be enforced they will park elsewhere in the village and ensure the safety of all people using Middle Street.”

He added that new parking signs will be put up shortly directing drivers to the public car park at Blackhall Community Centre, in Hesleden Road, which is for general use as well as for visitors to the centre.

Private company NSL has taken over responsibility for traffic enforcement from police in the Durham area.

Drivers can be fined £70 for parking on double yellow lines in the Durham County Council area, which can be halved if paid within 14 days.