Retailers on Acorn Road agree on “car parking problem”
The future of Acorn Road has been a hot button topic, with retailers, residents and campaigners voicing their opinions – which are often opposing.
JesmondLocal polled retailers on the busy street, in search of their opinions. Amid the ongoing debate on Acorn Road’s future, supported by the Newcastle Cycling campaign, Jesmond has received £350,000 from the Department of Transport to tackle the problems of the busy high street and to implement a new infrastructural scheme helping to alleviate traffic. That may not be too warmly welcomed by retailers on Acorn Road, who worry that reducing access to cars on the street may harm their business.
Steven Robson from Acorn Hardware says “I am opposed against it to being pedestrianised, because there is nowhere for deliveries to go. Most of my customers drive in, get what they want and go out again. So it’s a quick turnaround. A one-way system would be a good idea, coming from Osborne Road.” He also notes the problems of insufficient parking space and his customers constantly complain “that there is nowhere to park.” Other retailers and shop owners back Robson’s view up, depicted in the analysis of our opinion poll.
The majority of the retailers claimed the insufficient car parking is a key issue, resulting from the numerous customers’ complaints. David Patten from Central Bean, a coffee shop on the corner of Acorn Road and Osborne Road says “parking is a nightmare. I’d like there to be more parking, long stay parking maybe. My customers are trying to park here, but there is nowhere to stop.” A solution many state is a one-way system. The people who were asked their opinions favoured a car park, but did not see the space for it in the surrounding area.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (above) show the proportion of households owning a car, or none in Newcastle. 39.2% own at least one car, as opposed to 42% who do not. However 58% of households do own a car. This could explain why car parking is a strong factor in maintaining a busy Acorn Road. Despite the parking space struggle, the majority of the interviewed shop owners and retailers agreed on the prevailing lively atmosphere.
A public meeting held recently at Newcastle Cricket Club revealed the difficulties in finding a balanced solution for everyone. Tony Waterston of Transition Jesmond, a local environmental campaign body, emphasised that “we are looking for solutions, not problems.”
We’d like to hear your solutions. Let us know in the comments below, via email, Facebook or Twitter.
Additional reporting by Maya Sivamany