Plans to introduce a ‘residents only’ parking permit scheme in Derry’s Bogside have reached an “important milestone,” it’s emerged.
It’s understood that, over the next few days, the formal consultation on the scheme will commence.
Local residents will receive letters notifying them of the plans and giving them an opportunity to review the proposals and offer their views.
At the same time, public advertisements will appear in local newspapers.
It’s understood the plans include free of charge residents’ parking and visitor parking permits.
Sources say the scheme could provide between 350 and 400 car parking spaces for local residents.
All-day commuter parking in the area means many householders cannot park their cars near their homes.
Many commuters park in the area to avoid city centre parking charges.
The Triax Neighbourhood Management Team (TNMT) said the latest development is a “welcome one.”
Colm Barton, development worker with TNMT, said it marks an “important milestone.”
He told the ‘Journal’: “As someone who has been involved in calling for this scheme to happen for the best part of a decade, and who has met with two Infrastructure Ministers, Conor Murphy and Chris Hazzard on site, I can honestly say I am delighted that this project has reached such an important milestone. It’s one I’m sure many Bogside residents wondered would ever happen.
“My information is that the formal consultation process should take six weeks to complete and after studying the responses, we should see movement on the actual implementation fairly swiftly.”
Mr. Barton said getting the scheme to this stage had required a “marathon effort.”
“In reality, many residents had given up hope of it ever happening,” he added.
“So, to finally see it reach formal consultation means all the legislative issues have been dealt with and we can now see light at the end of what’s been a very long tunnel.
“We have been in contact with Roads Service on a weekly basis over the last few months and I now look forward to working with them in the coming months as we move the Bogside Residents Parking Scheme steadily towards implementation.”
The news has also been welcomed by local Sinn Fein MLA Karen Mullan, who said: “Sinn Féin have been campaigning for a residents’ parking scheme in the Bogside from as far back as 2007. The Triax management team have also been working very hard on the issue and have collected surveys of residents’ views on any proposed scheme and facilitated a public consultation on behalf of what was formally known as DRD Roads Service.
“This has been a very long campaign and it’s good to finally see this is moving in the right direction.”