New Derry residents’ parking scheme talks after warning ambulance struggled to gain access

DfI Roads Service officials are to hold talks on a revised Bogside residents’ parking scheme with elected reps, who have warned that even emergency vehicles are struggling to access certain areas.

Monday, 13th December 2021, 7:25 am

Independent Councillor and Bogside resident Sean Carr said he had witnessed an ambulance on an emergency call out struggle to access health facilities last week in the congested Frederick Street area, while various other local reps expressed alarm that it is now almost a decade since the original consultation with residents.

Raising the matter at this week’s Environment & Regeneration Committee meeting, Sinn Féin Colr. Patricia Logue said: “2012 residents were consulted, it’s now 2021 going into 2022. When is it expected to begin?”

Harry Gallagher, Acting Divisional Manager, DfI Roads Service Western Division said: “Obviously the scheme we brought to the public was not wanted by them and I think we in the Department have to accept that was the case.

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Bogside and St Eugene’s Cathedral. DER2126GS - 063

“I would like to engage with elected reps for the area... and discuss what the options are we could take forward. My own feeling is we need to make it more straight forward.”

Colr. Carr welcomed this, and said the parking issue “impacts on us on a daily occurrence getting parked anywhere near our homes.”

He added: “Last week I witnessed an ambulance having bother to get down to go to either Abbey Medical Practice or William Street residential home and up into that driveway. He had serious difficulties getting round the bend on Frederick Street.

“As we all know, seconds can count for somebody’s life. That ambulance was in an emergency. Had that been a fire engine they would never have got round.”

SDLP Colr. Brian Tierney said he was “shocked” to find out that a smaller scheme was being considered. “You are only going to push the problem further out,” he said.

“I think the Department needs to look at that entire area, from the city centre, Clarendon Street, Asylum Road right out to the Brandywell and Lecky Road.

“The residents have had to put up with that parking nuisance for as long as I can remember and I lived in that area most of my life.”