Council should do more to encourage town centre workers to use the town’s car parks so that busy arterial routes are not being blocked by parked cars. That’s the view of East Londonderry MLA Maurice Bradley.
The MLA has been contacted by occupants of residential areas in and around Coleraine town centre who claim that certain roads are being obstructed by parked vehicles.
MLA Bradley has contacted the Department responsible for roads in relation to parked cars on the Mountsandel Road.
In a letter to the MLA, the traffic management section said that they have identified that ‘traffic progression is being hindered by parked vehicles on the Mountsandel Road’, and they are now seeking the views of the PSNI in relation to waiting restrictions.
MLA Bradley explained: “I was contacted by a number of road users who claimed that it was difficult to orchestrate past parked cars on the Mountsandel Road leading from the town centre,” said MLA Bradley.
“The Mountsandel Road is a slow stretch at all times of the day. There’s a busy doctors’ surgery and of course heavy plant vehicles entering and exiting from the building merchants – add that to the heavy traffic due to the one-way system and you can see why it is proving difficult if one lane of traffic is partly obstructed by parked vehicles
“I know that town centre workers have been using the Mountsandel area to park their cars since the parking tariffs came into force at Terrace Row. Herein lies the problem.
“I feel that there should be more consideration given to those who work in our town centre. Parking in Coleraine is already expensive.
“At fifty pence per hour in the two town centre car parks, town centre employees cannot afford to park in these areas for up to seven hours per day for six days a week.
“I know that the carpark at Waterside, which is free, and is well used by workers, but it is not easily accessed by employees from the east side of Coleraine, particularly given the congestion in the Waterside/Old Bridge area during peak times.
“Perhaps Council should consider ways of promoting car parks in the town centre with some kind of incentive, like a monthly parking pass at a reduced rate, so that main roads and residential areas are not being used as car parks.
“Free parking is available in other towns in the Borough, so why can Council not consider another free carpark in Coleraine in a bid to support town centre staff.