On Tuesday 23rd of October, we met on the North side of the Church to discuss the problems with vehicles that arise there. Paul Kelly (Northumberland County Counsellor) would like to channel some funds towards getting the parking in this area sorted out. He was there, along with a roads Engineer, three parish counsellors and a representative of the Church.
A new surface is badly needed. Apart from the obvious puddles that form, a lack of marked parking bays causes haphazard parking that blocks not just residents and visitor cars, but bin collections, ambulances and fire appliances. All these services have encountered problems...when a fire was started in a cottage in the Dene, the fire service were unable to get to it and it burned to the ground.
Unfortunately, this isn't an easy nut to crack. Further investigations are required to establish who actually owns the land. The parish council, the Church or the County Highways. Further complications arise from the foundations of old cottages that used to stand on the site. Currently the stones are at ground level and provide a nice historical feature that adds character to Ovingham and a link to the past. It would be a pity to loose these, but tarmac is costly and costs more when it has to be spread in and out of old stoneworks.
Further problems emerged...the length and width of a standard parking bay, plus the space needed to enter and exit, is far larger than the space available. The engineer will make detailed measurements and attempt to come up with a layout that fits, and leaves room for passing.
There will no doubt be more discussion on this subject at Parish meetings in the next few months.