TALKS between a council and businesses are ongoing to deal with concerns that parking restrictions will kill a town's recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Business owners from Grange Road and Northumberland Street, in Darlington, wrote to the town's council about measures put in place last week to restrict on street parking, creating more space for social distancing and queuing outside shops.

This week, in a video posted on social media, Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said the barriers, which have been placed between the road and the pavement, were "a bit over the top".

The authority says it is looking at ideas of how the impact of the measures could be mitigated to help businesses with their recovery.

Business owners say they are not necessary, given that footfall in the streets is typically low and they say their is ample space for people to maintain social distancing without getting rid of the parking spaces.

Last week, a dozen people attended the town hall to deliver a letter asking for the authority to rethink the restrictions.

The Northern Echo:

Grange Road and Northumberland Street business owners at Darlington Town Hall

Cllr Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: “Discussions are ongoing with business owners in Grange Road and the wider Imperial Quarter about the measures that have been put in place in the area to ensure public health.

"We’ve received a number of ideas and we’re working through each of them to determine how we might mitigate the impact.

“We recognise there is a difficult balancing act between protecting public health and the need for these businesses to get back on their feet.

"We’re committed to working with business owners to do what we can to support them through this difficult period.”