PEOPLE power has won the day in a Northumberland seaside town after a petition signed by over 3,400 people secured increased parking.
A businesswoman in Amble set up the petition out of frustration at the lack of parking in the heart of the community and the impact it was having on firms.
And after so many people signed, the local authority has now agreed to create more parking in the town centre.
The decision was last night welcomed by the businesswoman, who said it came as a “relief” after a “hell of a fight”.
Up until now, the town’s main shopping street, Queen Street, has had around 20 designated loading bays, with people getting penalty tickets if they are caught parking in them.
Ann Burke, owner of card shop 42 Queen Street, set up the petition as she and other businesses there were growing increasingly alarmed over the loss of trade caused by the lack of parking.
She approached other shop owners and all agreed to take copies of the petition. Soon, the stores were approaching her and asking for more forms such was the support.
Within a week, Mrs Burke had gathered more than 3,400 signatures which she presented to the county council at a meeting of its North area committee.
She then represented Amble Business club, of which she is a member and former secretary, at a meeting with county council officers and Amble Town Council, at which a temporary solution was thrashed out and long-term options discussed.
A county council spokeswoman said: “We are looking at a long-term solution on parking in Amble with the town council and the traders.
“We are going to bring in a temporary traffic regulation order to turn loading bays into parking bays in Queen Street, with loading allowed on the single yellow lines opposite.
“Until the temporary traffic order comes through we are accommodating parking in the loading bays to assist shoppers and traders in the lead up to Christmas.”
It should take four to six weeks for the order to be processed.
Mrs Burke said: “It is really a bit of a relief in Amble, but it has been a hell of a fight.”