New measures to beat problem parkers in Houghton after traders and shoppers complain about congestion

New measures to beat congestion and problem parkers have been introduced in a busy shopping street – prompting councillors to stage an Abbey Road-style celebration picture.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 02 July, 2019, 16:45
Councillors Juliana Heron, Neil McKnight and Alex Scullion (l-r), appearing to emulate The Beatles' famous Abbey Road album cover picture

Traders and shoppers in Houghton were fed up with irresponsible drivers leaving their cars blocking Newbottle Street, and asked the area’s councillors to take action.

Labour councillors Neil McKnight, Juliana Heron and Alex Scullion campaigned for much-needed changes to ease bottlenecking and problem-parking.

The plans will be brought in over the coming month to deal with tailbacks and traffic flow issues on the street.

Councillor Neil McKnight, who was elected to represent Houghton ward last year, said: “The situation in Newbottle Street was becoming a real issue for residents and traders, with inconsiderate drivers creating significant issues for traffic trying to make its way through, as well as pedestrians who were being put at risk as a result of drivers’ view being obscured.

“We could see that this was becoming a major problem for the area, and we have been working closely with traders and residents to hear their concerns and work with them to find options to improve things.

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“We’ve been able to push this up the agenda of officers in the council and we’re delighted that this is now being dealt with.”

The council will also be putting in place greater enforcement to ensure those who flout the new rules are dealt with.

Councillor Juliana Heron, said: “We have taken the right steps to tackle this issue, but we know that enforcement is key to preventing it from being in vain.

“This is a major step forward for Newbottle Street, but we will be working with residents and traders to make sure that it is as effective as possible, and that we don’t go back to having the same issues with this popular street.”

Councillor Scullion, also a Labour councillor in the area, added: “This is a team victory. We’re delighted to see changes made that will really help traders, pedestrians and drivers in the area to move smoothly and safely through a street that is at the heart of our community.”