Staggering pub closing hours raised

Sinn Fein Foyle MP Elisha McCallion.
Sinn Fein Foyle MP Elisha McCallion.

Staggering the opening hours of pubs and clubs and new taxi wardens have been discussed as part of a range of measures which could be introduced to address safety issues relating to Derry’s night-time economy.

Sinn Féin MP for Foyle Elisha McCallion said a number of other potential measures were raised at a multi-agency she convened in the city this week to discuss safety in the city centre.

Speaking after the talks, Mrs. McCallion said: “I felt it was very important bringing together a range of agencies and partners to discuss safety in Derry city centre, particularly at night time.

“It was a very well attended meeting and we discussed a wide range of issues which included licence premises, adjustments to premises closing times, safety on the streets late at night and taxi availability.”

Mrs. McCallion said that in recent times the city has witnessed the opening of new bars ,restaurants and hotels in the city centre.

“We have also a very vibrant night-time economy there which has grown significantly over recent years and we need to have the infrastructure to deal with that,” she said, adding: “We have to encourage this and allow it to grow in a way that puts the safety of the public first.

“There have been several actions’ coming out of the meeting and a number of sub groups set up to deal them.

“One of the those being the need for secure night time taxi ranks in Shipquay Street with the likes of taxi wardens to direct the queues, which happens in many other cities.

“We want people to be able to enjoy all that the city has to offer in a safe manner and that can be achieved through creative thinking and partnership working.”