Parking charge changes get a mixed response

Main Street Car Park, Limavady. (2505PG37)

Main Street Car Park, Limavady. (2505PG37)

Proposal to remove 20p per hour charge at Main Street

Members of Causeway Coast and Glens Council’s Environmental Services Committee were presented this week with three options regarding car parking tariffs in Limavady and Coleraine.

Members agreed on Tuesday on an option that means the 20p per hour charge at the car park on Main Street in the town would be removed. Members heard removal of the charges would attract a saving of £2,448.60.

The same option would also remove a choice for motorists using a car park with the £1 for five hours pilot scheme, and revert to the original tariff of 40p. Charges at the Connell Street Car Park would remain at 40p per hour.

The proposal will be taken forward to a full meeting of Council for ratification.

A spokesperson for Roe Valley Chamber of Commerce said they were “shocked at the decision to change car parking charges in Limavady with such alacrity and not affording enough time for proper consultation with the Chamber members and other business stakeholders involved”.

“It is imperative that all those businesses which depend on availability of town centre car parking at prices shoppers can afford have their say,” said the spokesperson. “This Chamber will not be rail roaded into making decisions that could be detrimental to the survival of the town centre.”

Committee member, SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan, said: “The move to scrap the charge at Main Street Car Park is a good one and one which will, hopefully, encourage people to shop for longer periods in the town centre without fear of getting a ticket, which has happened in many cases when people have inadvertantly overstayed their time.”

Sinn Féin councillor Brenda Chivers said there was “a public outcry” when charges were implemented at Main Street.

“Hopefully, this announcement will encourage more people into the town, which will drastically improve the footfall for the local shops,” said Colr. Chivers. “I have submitted a proposal to council that parent and children spots are made available in the council car parks, which I hope will be passed.”

Colr. Chivers said she was not happy with the move to scrap the £1 for five hours option. She claimed the move would be detrimental, especially to business owners and staff who work in the area and use the car park daily.

TUV Colr. Boyd Douglas said: “As far I’m concerned, I’m very pleased Council will be taking the charges off Main Street.

“I was opposed to it when those charges were introduced. This car park is used by elderly people who find it difficult to park on the Main Street and need to access places like the post office.”