HUNDREDS of people are backing calls for planned parking restrictions in a County Durham village to be abandoned.

More than 300 people have signed two petitions launched against the proposals, which would see the introduction of two-hour parking bays on part of the main road through Middleton-in-Teesdale.

An online campaign, led by Hayley Bell, of Ettersgill, has attracted more than 100 supporters, while others have signed forms circulated by villager Diane Spark.

Loading article content

Ms Spark said; “I am really surprised by the amount of support we have got, although it’s a shame we have had to do it.”

The petitioners say parking restrictions would simply create a problem where one does not exist.

“The question we all want answered is where is the evidence of the need for the measures that are being proposed,” added Ms Spark.

“There is also some confusion over where the proposals came from. There has been a lack of clarity about the process.”

Among those backing the villagers’ campaign is Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman, who has written to Mrs Bell expressing her concerns about any parking restrictions in the village.

Others have posted comments on Mrs Bell’s online petition.

Barry Dobson, of Hutton Magna, described the plans as “bonkers".

He said: “I often park there to work locally and never have a problem.”

Frances Easby, of Barnard Castle, wrote that the money should be spent on better signs to car parks in the village, such as that at the former field studies centre, in Bridge Street.

Sheena Danby, who lives in the village, is among those who question whether there is any need for parking restrictions.

“My family have been resident in this village for generations,” she said.

“There is respect for others here that is not present in cities and towns. We are a community that does not need regulation.

“I do not want to see traffic wardens on our streets, let alone pay for them from my taxes.”

Mrs Bell and Ms Spark are planning to raise the issue with parish councillors at tomorrow night’s (Tuesday, May 20) annual village meeting.

Durham County Council is currently preparing to advertise a traffic regulation order for Middleton-in-Teesdale after which objections will be considered by the authority’s highways committee.