Drivers who use a car park in Limavady and take advantage of the ‘five hours for £1’ offer look set to have that option removed.
The change at Central Car Park in Limavady comes after a decision at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s environmental services committee on Tuesday.
The transfer of the off-street parking functions from DRD to local councils occurred on April 1, 2015, and “presented Council with revenue opportunities”. It was agreed as part of the rates setting process to raise an additional £400,000 income from Causeway Council’s car parking assets.
Consultation occurred with stakeholders across the borough about 12 car parks, including three car parks in Limavady - Main Street, Central Car Park and Connell Street.
Five options were presented to councillors after consultation with local business representatives.
The option favoured by Roe Valley Chamber of Commerce was option five, which would introduce 30p per hour charges at Connell Street and Central car parks, or ‘five hours for £1’, while Main Street car park would be free.
Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers said she supported option five.
“Limavady is a struggling town. We’re stuck between Derry and Coleraine and we are trying to get people to stay in the town longer,” said Colr. Chivers, who said she had spoken with Chamber representatives several times. She welcomed the free parking at Main Street, and said more child friendly spaces were needed in the town.
The matter was debated at length and, after approximately two hours and a period of recess, it was decided to go with option one, which would see 40p per hour tariffs at Central and Connell Street car parks, the removal of the ‘£1 for five hours’ option, and make parking free at Main Street. The option was amended so three car parks in Coleraine, which had been in line for an increased tariff of 60p per hour, would instead have 50p per hour tariffs.
It was agreed a fuller mapping exercise of all car parking in the borough would be undertaken to have a more holistic approach to the matter.
When it came down to the vote, six councillors voted for the amendment to option one, while nine members abstained, including Sinn Fein councillors.
The decision will be taken forward to the full council meeting where the decision will be either ratified or rejected.
Full story in Friday’s Derry Journal.