Anger over Seaham's disabled parking charges

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Parking charges are a hot topic in Seaham
The council says blue badge holders park free 'in all our on-street parking facilities', but there are no signs to confirm this on North Road.The council says blue badge holders park free 'in all our on-street parking facilities', but there are no signs to confirm this on North Road.
The council says blue badge holders park free 'in all our on-street parking facilities', but there are no signs to confirm this on North Road.

Anger over disabled drivers being forced to pay for parking is the latest episode in the backlash against Durham County Council after charged were introduced in six coastal car parks in Seaham.

Parking charges were introduced at Vane Tempest Beach, Terrace Green (beside the Tommy statue), Dock Top (opposite Bell's fish and chips), Nose's Point, Seaham Marina and the Seaham Hall car park (which surrounds the North Beach coffee bar) on April 15.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Previously free-to-use parking bays now cost £1 an hour or £3 to park all day, every day between 8am and 6pm.

Mark Jackson, Durham County Council’s head of transport and contract services, has said the charges "bring it (Seaham) into line with the rest of the car parks along the North East’s coast, where charges are already in place."

However, Echo readers have pointed out that a few miles north of Seaham at council run car parks in Sunderland and South Shields, there is no charge for blue badge holders.

Durham County Council is run by a coalition of Conservatives, Lib Dems and others. The announcement that parking charges would be introduced was met with opposition from local Labour politicians, including members of Seaham Town Council.

Businesses in the town have also voiced their opposition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The county council says there is free disabled parking "in all our on-street parking facilities".

However, on the 32 new bays on the B1287 North Road, where charges now also apply, there is no signage to say that blue badge parking is free.

One reader says he is preparing a formal complaint to the council.

Mark Jackson responded: “In line with Government guidance on the Blue Badge scheme, we do provide free parking for Blue Badge holders, without any time limit, in all our on-street parking facilities. We also offer this in all permit holder areas.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“While, like other councils, we do charge Blue Badge holders to use off-street car parks, we do work hard to ensure their needs are catered for, including ensuring the most accessible and convenient bays are reserved for their use.

“We also strive to keep any charges as low as possible for all car park users - £1 for up to an hour and £3 for a full day at Seaham.”

Durham's is not among the councils involved in the local elections of May 2.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.