A car parking scheme for Bogside residents has been unable to proceed because of issues outside of Derry, according to Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Maeve McLaughlin.
The car parking scheme had been first mentioned in 2007 and was designed to alleviate car parking problems for local Bogside residents.
Ms. McLaughlin sent a letter to Department for Regional (DRD) Minister, Michelle McIlveen, asking her for an update on the scheme.
“It’s quite staggering the length of time we have been campaigning for residents parking scheme,” said Ms. McLaughlin.
“It’s nearly nine years when there was the first talk of pilot schemes, looking at all the various options and at the time it was all looking very positive.
“But it’s been a rollercoaster ever since with residents’ hopes raised and dashed a number of times.”
Minister McIlveen replied to Ms. McLaughlin’s letter and said one of the reasons the Derry scheme had not gone ahead was because DRD experienced “difficulties securing public support” for a similar scheme in Belfast.
“My department [DRD] has progressed the Rossville Street Residents’ Parking Scheme in the Bogside area of the City. Many of the necessary preparations have been made ahead of formal consultation on the scheme.
“However, given the difficulties in securing public support for schemes in Belfast and the costs associated with implementing and managing schemes in Londonderry and Antrim, I wish to take some time to consider my department’s position on this matter before making any further decisions,” wrote Minister McIlveen.
Reacting to Minister’s response, Ms. McLaughlin predicted that residents would be “angered” and said the scheme “needs to happen”.
“Residents will be quite rightly angered to learn that the scheme which everyone agrees needs to happen should be held up because of problems in other parts of the North.
“I will impress on the Minister the importance that the scheme in Derry needs to go ahead,” said Ms. McLaughlin.