Over thirty parking tickets were issued in Coleraine’s two main town centre car parks last Sunday, according to East Londonderry MLA Maurice Bradley.
There has been up roar amongst shoppers after parking charges were introduced on Sunday in the Mall and Abbey Street carparks.
The East Londonderry representative met with Council Chief Executive David Jackson this morning in relation to Sunday parking charges and other matters.
“I am told that the parking charges were inherited from the legacy council.
“My DUP colleague, councillor Trevor Clarke is to raise the issue of parking charges at this Tuesday’s Leisure and Development meeting, so hopefully there can be a positive outcome,” said the MLA.
MLA Bradley went on: “At this time of the year we should be encouraging people to come to our towns and stay.
“I have been told there were over thirty tickets issued on Sunday, this is proof that the signage in place was not sufficient.
“I also understand that the traffic wardens issuing the tickets were getting paid double their hourly rate. Is this good use of public money?”
MLA Bradley went on: “The sad thing is that some of those who were given fines were attending church and were horrified to return to their cars to see penalty charges of £45 on their windscreens.
“I feel that Coleraine’s parking strategy needs a total rethink, when other major towns like Ballymena and Belfast can offer shoppers free parking on a Sunday, now is the time for Coleraine to follow suit.
“High tariffs and a lack of free parking spaces is only doing one thing – it is driving people away from our town centre to out of town retail outlets were parking is free.”
MLA Bradley went on to remind drivers that on street parking restrictions are not operational on Sundays: “Perhaps more people should make use of the on street parking on a Sunday and stay away from the pay and display car parks in the town centre,” he said.