Almost 1000 parking tickets are doled out in Derry every month, new figures reveal.
Statistics released to the ‘Journal’ by the Department of Regional Development (DRD) show that Derry drivers received a total of 11,246 tickets in 2010 - that’s 937 per month or 216 each week.
And with a maximum payment of £60, the tickets could have cost Derry motorists almost £60,000 each month of last year.
The latest figures reveal a massive drop in the number of tickets issued over recent years - 20,226 tickets were issued in the city in 2008 - but come as DRD have announced plans to increase car parking charges across the north.
Under the new plans drivers in 30 locations - including Derry, Limavady and Strabane - would have to start paying for on-street parking. Fines would also rise to £90 under the proposals.
Glyn Roberts, head of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, says any such move would only compound problems faced by Derry city centre traders.
“We have major concerns that these proposals will result in more shoppers being forced to go to out of town stores which offer free car parking.
“At a time when we should be encouraging more shoppers to our struggling town centres, this is the wrong charge at the wrong time.
“The DRD claims that their proposals will mean a greater turnover of vehicles in town centres which is simply wrong - it will deter people from going to town centres.”
Mr Roberts says he hopes to discuss the plans with the DRD Minister Conor Murphy at an “ urgent meeting.”
A private firm, National Car Parks (NCP), took over parking enforcement across the north on behalf of the DRD on October 30, 2006.
Previously, PSNI officers had the power to give out parking tickets, as did traffic wardens, who came under police jurisdiction.