Roads Service is to remove faded layout markings at a city centre car park after Tullyally motorist Robert Smallwoods successfully appealed an unjustly imposed parking ticket.
Mr Smallwoods was booked for parking ‘out of bay’ in the Foyle Street car park next to the Guildhall last September despite having parked in what looked like a legitimate parking bay.
He was handed a £45 fine.
The Tullyally man says faded road markings in the 54 space car park in the middle of Londonderry are confusing and that they may be contributing to a disproportionately high number of parking ‘out of bay’ tickets there.
Mr Smallwoods, who recently had his appeal against the ticket upheld by the Northern Ireland Traffic Parking Tribunal, has obtained information from Roads Service, which shows that between September 1, 2012, and February 26, 2014, there were 318 ‘out of bay’ tickets issued at Foyle Street.
This compared with just 109 ‘out of bay’ tickets during the same period at the 62 space Queen’s Quay car park and just 27 ‘out of bay’ tickets at the 86 space car park in Foyle Road.
Mr Smallwoods told the Sentinel: “I found that Foyle Street, being the smallest car park between Foyle Road car park, Queen’s Quay car park - Foyle Street being the smallest - had three times as many parking ‘out of bay PCNs,’ which is quite unbelievable.’
“It should be addressed right away. There are honest people out there, honest working people, who are unwittingly parking in these areas, which are not clearly marked out.”
The Sentinel asked Roads Service if it was aware of Mr Smallwoods’ concerns.
A spokesperson told the paper: “Roads Service plan to remove the remains of previous faded layout markings in Foyle St Carpark as soon as possible. This should clear up any confusion. Drivers should continue to heed the instructions on car park signs and park within proper bay markings at all times.”
Mr Smallwoods said: “I feel delighted that I’ve won my case. It was four or five months of stress, worrying about it.”
He added: “I’d say there would need to be a full overview of all the car parks in Derry to sort any problems that are going on like this.”