Derry City & Strabane District Council has confirmed it is taking action to ensure the barriers at the municipal Willam Street car park in the city are openened and closed in a timely manner.
The local authority said it was aware that the off-city centre car park was not opened as scheduled at 7.30 a.m. yesterday morning.
In fact, the ‘Journal’ understands it was closer to 9.30 a.m. before cars could access the Council-owned facility.
Residents and commuters were left scratching their heads and grinding their teeth at the unexpected build-up of traffic on William Street yesterday morning.
Sinn Féin Councillor for The Moor District Electoral Area (DEA) Sharon Duddy said: “I was contacted by users of the car park this morning to say that the gates weren’t open and that there was traffic gridlock in the William Street area.
“Any problems at this car park are going to have a knock-on effect on the local community, if motorists cant get in they are going to park in the surrounding streets.”
Colr. Duddy said the operation of new barriers installed at the start of the year to discourage anti-social behaviour in the car park had suffered from a number of teething problems.
She also referred to the phenomenon of city centre workers parking outside local residents’ homes andworried that this would only increase if the car park was not opened on time.
“And we all know the problems residents have with parking outside their homes,” she said.
“Whatever the issues are around the opening and closing of the barriers into the car park they need resolved as a matter of urgency,” added Colr. Duddy.
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council, meanwhile, said that Council was aware of there being an issue with the barrier at William Street Carpark not being opened at the scheduled time on Thursday.
Council is meeting with the Management Company as a matter of urgency to establish the reasons for the delayed opening, the spokesperson added.
The Council apologised for any inconvenience to car park users who may have experienced delays.
The William Street car park is supposed to be open from 7.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday.
The barriers were installed earlier this year following pressure from the residents from the William Street, Rossville Street and Brewster’s Close areas who had had enough of ‘little boy racers’ gathering in and creating a significant noise nuisance for people living in the area.