Angry residents clash with drivers in Bank Holiday parking rows at Sunderland seafront

Councillor George Howe at the scene of the parking problems in Seaburn. Picture by Frank Reid
Councillor George Howe at the scene of the parking problems in Seaburn. Picture by Frank Reid

Angry residents clashed with motorists as soaring Bank Holiday weekend temperatures saw sunseekers flock to the seafront at the weekend.

Fulwell councillor George Howe said people living in Seaburn and Roker were abused and insulted after asking drivers to move cars which were blocking driveways and side roads.

Double yellow lines in Dykelands Road

Double yellow lines in Dykelands Road

“One lady phoned me to say she could not get to the hospital,” said Coun Howe.

“When she asked the driver to move, they swore at her. All the car parks were full so people were parking anywhere.”

He believes developer Siglion’s plan for the seafront will exacerbate the problem.

“If you have days like this and all the car parks have been built on, it is going to get worse,” he said.

All the car parks were full so people were parking anywhere.

Coun George Howe

A Sunderland City Council spokesman said: “Council Civil Enforcement Officers do not have powers against vehicles that are parked and causing an obstruction and this is a matter for the police.

“Officers were deployed in the north of the city over the weekend, including the seafront, and a number of penalty charge notices were issued.

“Several motorists received advice on parking and residents or businesses concerned access to a highway is being blocked can contact police.”

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Police were made aware of parking concerns among some residents in the Seaburn and Roker areas.

“It is a criminal office to park on yellow line restrictions, park irresponsibly, and wilfully obstruct property or roads.

“Police would urge drivers leaving their cars to be respectful of people’s personal property and park in designated, safe areas which do not block driveways or narrow streets.

“Officers will continue to patrol the area and will take appropriate action against any offenders.

A Siglion spokesperson said the planned scheme would replace 186 spaces – a reduction of just eight.

“The number of spaces was based on an ‘average Bank Holiday weekend’. The weather over the Bank Holiday weekend was exceptional, so it is unsurprising that the beach would have been busy,” she said.

She expressed surprise at Coun Howe’s claims more parking was needed and said it was less than three months ago he said ‘there are loads of car parking spaces in Seaburn already so I don’t see why we need any more,’ while discussing plans for a new car park.