MARKET traders in Durham City will soon have access to dedicated parking spaces under new plans.

Changes are being made to parking in Providence Row, Durham, to give spaces to traders on the city's outdoor market on Saturdays and the monthly farmer's market.

A special meeting of Durham County Council's Highways Committee heard plans last week to give traders ten dedicated bays at the pay and display car park on Providence Row

The move followed a request from traders to accommodate their high-sided vehicles and is aimed at tackling parking demand following a decision by council bosses to build a new county headquarters at on the car park at ‘The Sands’.

At the meeting, critics described the move as a temporary fix to larger parking issues caused by the HQ plans.

This included traders having to walk longer distances, potential parking disputes and a higher risk of theft – with traders forced to leave their stalls for longer periods to replenish stock.

Cllr Roger Cornwell, of City of Durham Parish Council, said alternatives should be explored for trader parking, including Fowler’s Yard.

“The search must continue,” he told the meeting.

“The parish council and traders would like to work with the council to identify further places closer to the market place in order to solve this problem.”

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, chair of the parish council, added signage related to the scheme should be clear to the public.

While Cllr Richard Ormerod asked if a planned car park at Durham Sixth Form Centre could be used by traders in future.

Highways bosses agreed to work with market traders going forward to find a long-term solution.

But strategic traffic manager for the council, Dave Wafer, said that the council was unable to demand parking from a third party.

The highways boss added that Fowler’s Yard faced high demand for parking and was not currently an option.

He also confirmed surveys were taking place to explore Sidegate car park in future – which is used by traders at the Full Moon Market, a monthly street food event.

Following discussion, the plans were backed by councillors with a unanimous vote.

The final say rests with the council’s corporate director before the parking changes are introduced.

At the same meeting, councillors heard about plans to put double yellow lines in Green Lane, Gilesgate to try and stop obstructive parking.

The meeting heard that residents were often forced to walk on the road alongside access difficulties for deliveries and emergency services.

The plans divided members because of concerns over a lack of alternative parking but the split vote was resolved when chair Cllr Charlie Kay voted to support the proposal.