Pretty seaside town voted one of UK’s best blighted by insane parking rules
New parking rules set to be imposed on a stretch of coastline voted one of the best in the UK have been branded “unfair” by fed up locals.
The dreamlike pristine beaches of Sugar Sands near Longhoughton in Northumbria were voted some of the best in the country in a poll by the Times in 2022.
But according to ChronicleLive the Howick Estates charity which owns some of the land wants to bring in parking charges for those visiting the sands.
A season ticket price of £25 has been put forward for locals, while charges will be in place for visitors at the site which currently only has an honesty box for donations.
In August 2023’s Boulmer, Howick and Longhoughton community newsletter, David Baring, chief of Howick Trustees, described the parking on the dunes as “like the wild west” and said that people trying to camp there on a regular basis was destroying the habitat.
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The charity has unveiled plans to issue a parking charge for day visitors, while inviting members of the community to purchase season tickets.
Josh Lane, a former school caretaker who has lived in Longhoughton for 37 years, said: “The issue of it all would have been sorted if they’d said local residents will be given a permit for free.
“I know it’s only £25 for the year, but not everyone can afford the permit. And a lot of the time, pensioners are taken down by members of their family because they can’t walk down.”
Mr Lane said the area should adopt schemes like those seen in nearby towns where residents get a free parking permit.
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The 54-year-old added: “I don’t see why we should be punished in doing something I do for my mental health because of tourism.
“I’m not against tourism, don’t get me wrong, but there’s not the infrastructure in these small villages to have as many people coming.”
Longhoughton Parish Council is working with Howick Estates to facilitate a consultation, with early proposals that the charge will be a “modest” £3.50 per day or £25 for a season ticket.
Howick Estates says that he charge will allow them to employ a team of people to manage the area and provide additional services to inform visitors about the coast, with any surplus income to fund activities in line with their charitable objectives of heritage, environment and education.
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