Easington MP Grahame Morris has criticised proposals to introduce car parking charges on the East Durham Coast.

Durham County Council is consulting on proposals to introduce a £3 per day or £1 per hour parking charge at the following sites in East Durham:

Crimdon Dene Coastal Car Park
Seaham Hall (Beach)
Vane Tempest
Terrace Green (North Terrace)
Seaham Marina
Dock Top
Noses Point
B1287 North Road / East Shore Drive, Seaham

In an email to stakeholders, Durham County Council claims that the coastal car parks on the East Durham coastline are often over capacity, and the charge will help manage occupancy, increase turnover, and increase the expectation of a space being available for visitors.

Grahame Morris MP has responded to the consultation outlining his objections and is encouraging residents to engage in the consultation and share their views with Durham County Council. He said:

“I oppose the introduction of parking charges, which are a false economy that will impact business and trade. We want to welcome more people to visit Crimdon Dene and Seaham; many attracted by free parking and easy access to the beach.

As Durham County Council is fully aware, the vast majority of people have no option but to drive into places like Crimdon and Seaham due to the appalling state of our public transport, which too often makes our coastline inaccessible by bus or rail.

I want to welcome more people to our coastline, but new parking charges will deter visitors and lead to others seeking free parking in neighbouring residential streets.

These proposals are unwelcome; they do not have the support of any elected representative from the Member of Parliament, local County Councillors, or Town and Parish Councils.

These charges have nothing to do with managing parking and are a simple cash grab by a failing Conservative-led Coalition at Durham County Council, which has failed to properly manage local public finances.

I hope the community will make their views clear on these proposals before the deadline of 10 November by emailing trafficconsultations@durham.gov.uk.”

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