Concerns raised over public awareness of temporary closures and reduced capacity at 5 Derry car parks

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Derry City and Strabane District Council has said it will carry out a public communication strategy on planned city centre car park closures on social media and via an ‘overarching press strategy’.

Officers outlined the plans to council members during a Reduced Car Parking update report at a Business and Culture Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 14.

The report stated that a number of planned schemes in the city centre will require either the temporary closure or reduced parking capacity in four of the council’s off-street car parks.

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This includes the full closure of both Simpson’s Brae until May 24, for Kingdom Hall renovation work, and reduced capacity at Victoria Market Car Park for an undetermined 19-week period for essential maintenance of a wastewater pumping station.

Car Park, Bishop Street inner.  DER2126GS - 058Car Park, Bishop Street inner.  DER2126GS - 058
Car Park, Bishop Street inner. DER2126GS - 058

Bishop Street Car Park, which is being used as a satellite compound for the Inner Walled City Public Realm Scheme, will see reduced capacity from July 1 this year until December 2025, while Society Street Car Park will close on an undetermined date for upgrade work.

In addition, Foyle Street Car Park is now closed for use as a temporary bus stand, while NI Water upgrades the water infrastructure along Foyle Street, and is not expected to reopen until September next year.

SDLP councillor Rory Farrell said it was “good to get visibility” of all the closures, but it was “key” that the council communicates this to the public.

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“Does council have any comms planned?” Councillor Farrell asked. “Because it’s going to significantly reduce capacity across the city centre.

“I’m conscious we’ve got the Maritime Festival and there is going to be a lot more vehicles, so do we have a plan to communicate to the public about what to expect [and suggest] using public car parking spaces? Because trying to find spaces could prove difficult at some times.”

Head of Business, Kevin O’Connor, said that, in addition to an overarching press strategy, each closure will be well-publicised in advance.

“It will go out through all our social media channels and at the car parks themselves there will be physical signage,” Mr O’Connor said. “And we’re very aware of the challenges this is going to present.”

“There is a greater good that will result once the works are done, and we’ll communicate as proactively as we can on this.”

Andrew Balfour,

Local Democracy Reporter.