A new parking area has been established to help alleviate issues for motorists in Hexham.
Land at the former Fire Station at Tyne Mills has been opened up and spaces marked out to provide all-day parking for people who work in the town.
Northumberland County Council and local county councillors are working with the town council to find long term solutions to car parking issues in Hexham, and has reaffirmed its commitment to long-term improvements.
Alongside work on permanent long-term car parking solutions, the council has been looking at sites that could be readily available – and further sites in addition to the fire station are also being considered.
The temporary car park at the fire station is available now and provides up to 50 spaces. Parking will be free and there will be no restrictions or controls in place, although it is aimed primarily at all day parking for those who work in the town.
Cllr Cath Homer, county councillor for Hexham East said: “I am very pleased that these interim arrangements are now up and running, and hope that they have a positive impact in alleviating some of the parking issues.
“I am also pleased to say that the council is actively looking at both short and longer term solutions to the car parking issues we experience here in Hexham.”
In relation to longer term solutions the council is assessing the suitability of a number of sites in the town – including the potential for a multi-storey car park or more extensive surface parking.
Due to the historic and compact nature of the town centre, options to significantly increase overall parking capacity in the town are limited, however a small number of potential options are being explored.
Sites that could have potential are being considered in relation to access and traffic impact, and where not owned by the county council discussions are taking place with landowners to allow options to be appraised.
Cllr Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council said: “We are committed to making progress on improving the car parking situation in Hexham. We have identified some potential options and will be assessing these as soon as possible and consulting the local community.”