CAMPAIGNERS opposing proposed parking restrictions in a rural village have welcomed a move to abandon the plans.

More than 400 people living and working in Middleton-in-Teesdale signed two petitions against the introduction of two-hour parking bays on Horsemarket – the main road through the village – with no return within three hours.

Those against the plans argued that there was not a problem with parking in the village and expressed concern that only those directly affected by the proposals had been consulted, rather than the village as a whole.

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But, following the closure of consultation over the proposals, the decision has been made not to proceed.

Dave Wafer, Durham County Council’s strategic traffic manager, said: “The council has now fully consulted with local residents and businesses over the possibility of introducing parking restrictions in Middleton-in-Teesdale in an aim to boost trade in the area.

“Following an overwhelming response that people were not in favour of the proposals, it was agreed by all parties not to proceed with this.”

Hayley Bell and Diane Spark, who organised the petitions against the proposals, welcomed the decision.

Mrs Bell, who lives in nearby Ettersgill, but works in Middleton-in-Teesdale, ran the online petition.

She said: “It should never have been thought about in the first place as it was not needed.

“Middleton-in-Teesdale is fine the way it is.

“The petition was really well supported by the community in general.

“I had wondered if people might have gone the other way and been in favour of the proposals but they did not.”

Ms Spark, who took the petition around local businesses, added: “I am pleased that the county council did the right thing.”