PEOPLE living near a recently-opened railway museum say their lives have been turned into a nightmare by visitors parking outside their homes.

Residents of Victoria Street, Station Street and other areas surrounding Locomotion: National Railway Museum, in Shildon, say that they are having to park streets away from their homes.

Visitors have nowhere else to park at the multi-million pound attraction.

Residents say that Sedgefield Borough Council and the National Railway Museum have ignored the quality of life of householders when plans were made for the museum.

Angela Lawson, who has lived in Victoria Street for 30 years, said that tempers were getting frayed over the situation. She said: "People are threatening to block off the street because they cannot get parked.

"One woman had to park two streets away to unload her shopping. The elderly people in the bungalows are also fed up. They have never thought about the people who have lived here all of their lives.

"We accept that the museum is here, but they need to do something about the parking situation. They need more car parks.''

Neighbour Jackie West said a petition was being started to request residents' parking.

She said: "Everyone in the streets around here are behind us, and are willing to sign a petition.

"We have complained about this time and again. We even had someone come from York to assure us that everything was going to be all right but nothing has happened. We are not going to go away.''

A spokesman for Sedgefield Borough council, said it was aware of the parking problems and was trying to alleviate them

He said: "Although a recent meeting took place with representatives from Durham County Council, it is clear in the opinion of Durham County Council that resident permit parking is not an option.

"However, Durham County Council, on our behalf, will be consulting local residents about placing yellow lines on the highway to prevent double parking and allowing a clear route for emergency vehicles."

Phil Ball, Sedgefield Borough Council's director of leisure services, will write to residents to explain what had happened at the meeting.