Causeway Coast and Glens Council have revised their proposals to increase car parking charges following consultations with local traders and chambers of commerce across the Borough.
Previous proposals were sent back to Committee by full council at the end of April and revised options were discussed at the Environmental Services Committee on Tuesday 7th June.
The Ulster Unionist Party proposed changes to the first option presented by council officers which would have seen Coleraine’s main car parks (the Mall, Long Commons and Abbey Street) increase charges from £0.40/hour to £0.60/hour. The UUP revision was that these car parks only increase to £0.50/hour. This was in spite of the fact that the Chamber of Commerce were happy with the £0.60/hour option proposed during consultations.
Cllr Richard Holmes said: “It was made clear by Council Officers that the car parks have been handed over from DRD in a poor state of repair. Council has already planned major repair works to the Coleraine car parks at The Mall and Abbey Street at a projected cost of over £150,000.
“Council needs to develop a wider car parks strategy but it will be next year before all options have been reviewed and the infrastructure put in place to bring in charges in other car parks. In the meantime the UUP has again taken the decision to ensure that town centre workers are protected with options for free of low cost parking in the four big towns.
“Tuesday’s decision will raise £100,000 less in revenue which will mean less money to repair the failing infrastructure. I think the rate payers should be very aware that the DUP/SF reform of local government has been one big con. We’ve had 8 years of underinvestment by central government in order to boast of their economic prowess at keeping the regional rate down. But now the ticking time bomb has been handed over to councils and the local rate payers. For the same reason we see the road side grass cutting services being reduced.
“Car parking charges in the area are set to increase but when parking for 5 hours costs about the price of a cup of frothy coffee we have to put the charges in perspective.”