Signs and a payment meter erected to display new parking charges along the County Durham coast have been vandalised just days into the new operation.

The sign and meter, located in the Vane Tempest car park in Seaham, have been pictured with black graffiti obscuring instructions on how to pay and when the charges are enforced.

The meter, used by motorists who pay in cash, has been pictured lying on the ground. 

The Northern Echo: Vandalised parking meter in Vane Tempest car park.Vandalised parking meter in Vane Tempest car park. (Image: LISA CARVER)

The vandalism comes days after the charges, enforced by Durham County Council, came into force on April 15 and motorists visiting selected car parks along the coast now must pay £1 per hour or £3 to park all day.

These car parks are:

  • Seaham Hall Beach 
  • Vane Tempest
  • Terrace Green
  • Seaham Marina
  • Dock Top
  • Noses Point 
  • Crimdon Beach

Despite thousands of objections, charges were passed through the council in February to bring the coastal town "in line" with others across the North East that already charge for parking.

The Northern Echo: Vandalised sign in Vane Tempest car park.Vandalised sign in Vane Tempest car park. (Image: JANE GULLIFORD LOWES)

Work to install the meters, and paint double yellow lines and bays has been ongoing over the past few weeks.


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The council have confirmed they are aware of the vandalism incidents and the police have been informed.

A Durham County Council spokesperson said: “Our staff have discovered graffiti on ticket machines as well as one that has been dislodged.

“We have cleared the graffiti and, in the interests of public safety, cordoned off the dislodged machine until we are in a position to reinstall it. All incidents have been reported to Durham Constabulary.”