Local councillor Norman Hillis commenting on a recommendation at a council committee meeting said “It will be local residents that will suffer most.
From April to October charges in Ballycastle, Portstewart, Portrush, Portballintrae and Ballintoy car parks could be 40p per hour or all day for £2.00. No charge before 1.00pm on Sunday. I believe that there will be resistance to charges with visitors parking everywhere but the car parks. Locals will find that entrances to houses and garages could well be blocked. In addition many people will circle round our seaside towns in search of a free parking place causing traffic congestion.
I am concerned that this will send out a negative message to visitors who may well chose some other areas to visit where they would feel more welcome. These charges could well be seen as the council trying to squeeze the last penny out of visitors. In addition I feel this will have a really negative effect on the coastal towns High Streets. For example with two businesses Ethersons and Nisa in Portrush Main Street closing or relocating these charges will hardly help trade.
Patients visiting Portrush Medical Centre will find they will have to pay to park. I will be strongly opposing this proposal at the full Council meeting.”
Last year we reported on this which read “In a Causeway Coast & Glens car parking strategy document suggestions have been made that council review beach parking and the potential for charging during the summer months.
The document says that an opportunity exists to introduce seasonal car parking charges between March and September.
Council will consider introducing parking charges at: Ballintoy Harbour Car Park; Ballycastle Marina Car Park; Ballycastle Harbour Car Park; Portballintrae, Beach Car Park; Portrush East Strand Car Park; Portrush West Strand Car Park; Portrush Landsdowne Road Car Park; Portrush Dunluce Avenue Car Park; and Portstewart Convention Avenue Car Park.
The document also adds developing parking hubs in the following locations to help with road side parking in Bushmills, Portrush, Portstewart, Ballycastle, Limavady, Cushendall and Waterfoot.
Free car parking at Benone, Downhill and Castlerock that is currently free will also be reviewed.”