Waterside residents have expressed anger that a publicly funded £5.5m car park will remain shut to the public while they are routinely hemmed in during events at Ebrington.
One man, who did not want to be named, claimed the decision not to allow local people to park at the new facility was mind-boggling.
The Journal revealed on Friday that the car park- which was paid for with public money through the Office Of The First and Deputy First Minister- would only be open to those who set up business at Ebrington and their clients.
The 214-space car park, accessed via a new road off King Street Roundabout, was opened amid much fanfare several weeks ago, but the group tasked with delivering the project- Derry regeneration company Ilex- said that it was hoped having parking would help bring investment to the site.
Ilex also claimed that there was no need for additional car parking spaces in the city centre as the existing ones are not being filled to capacity, even over the busy Christmas period.
The resident from the Limavady Road area said: “I just cannot believe this and other people in the area can’t believe it either. It’s not April Fools Day?
“I am not the only one who thinks that way. Other people I have been speaking to here can’t believe it either.
“What I cannot understand is they have spent over £5m of public money on a car park that they will not let anybody use, yet on the Limavady Road the situation is desperate.
“The residents along the Limavady Road are snookered non-stop when there is an event at Ebrington.
“Several times I had to call the police because people have blocked the drive and I can’t get the car out.”
Other residents from the Bond Street and surrounding areas took to Facebook on Friday to express their anger at the parking situation.
He added that while Ilex have said that the car park will be used for investors setting up on the 26-acre Ebrington site, it could take decades for this to happen.
“I just cannot understand the logic,” he said.
The underground car park and platform above it took several years to complete.
In answer to a series of questions submitted by the Journal, an Ilex spokesperson said of the new car park at the former British Army base:
“The availability of adequate and appropriate parking is a key element in securing planning permission for future development.
“It is used by people working at Ebrington and their visitors, by event organisers, event traders and their staff. It is not a paying car park. The carpark is for patrons of Ebrington and is not a public car park.”