‘Many’ in East Londonderry irate at parking ticket price

A call for reduced parking fines has been turned down.  Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
A call for reduced parking fines has been turned down. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.

Provision for on-street parking is to be reviewed by the Department for Infrastructure.

It follows an Assembly debate at which a call for a reduction in the £90 mandatory parking fine was rejected.

The DUP motion also proposed free parking for the first 30 minutes.

Participating in the debate, East Londonderry MLA George Robinson said: “In many of our rural towns, street parking is essential for businesses to remain viable. In our medium-sized and larger towns and cities, which have substantial car parking availability, the need for a pragmatic approach is plausible. That is why I see a period of free parking as an encouragement to shoppers to use the car parking provided rather than blocking side streets.

“The motion states that the first 30 minutes should be free, but I am aware that smaller towns would like that period to be extended. As our economy begins to grow, we should encourage the population to come into our towns and spend money in the shops, socialise and have a meal or a coffee, though I fully appreciate that online shopping is a reality and here to stay. However, limited free parking and lower fines could help to boost the retail sector by encouraging footfall on our streets as the economy grows.

“My office deals with many people who are irate at the price of a parking ticket. This does not mean that they or I condone illegal parking, but I believe that the penalty should be lower.”

The Assembly resolved the minister carry out an investigation into the reduction of mandatory car parking fines and look at options to review on-street car parking fees and times.