Spectators at pipe band contest are booked
by NEIL GREENLEES
While the bands played inside, parking
attendants were busy outside.
THE sun shone on the thousands of spectators
who flocked to the European Pipe Band championships at the Lagan
Valley Leisureplex on Saturday, but when some people returned to
their cars the day hit a sour note. For they had been hit with
The penalty charge notices, which have
provoked a chorus of complaints led by the Mayor Councillor
Ronnie Crawford, were all placed on vehicles in the Governors
Mr. Crawford, who expressed disappointment at
the actions of the Parking Attendants, said he had received
phone calls from irate people across a wide area who found the
notices on their cars. He explained the number of people
attending the event had exceeded all expectations and people had
been unable to find spaces in the car parks provided despite the
fact St. Paul's Church also allowed its car park to be used.
Councillor Allan Ewart, Chairman of the City
Council's Economic Development Committee, said visitors from all
over Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and Europe had been 'very
disillusioned' by the issuing of the tickets.
He said he had contacted the Department for
Regional Development but they said they were unable to assist as
they were not aware the event was taking place.
"The powers that be should have instructed
the attendants to use discretion in these cases, as those who
parked on the grass area were not causing any disruption to
anyone or causing any traffic problems," he added.
"To say I am outraged and disgusted is
putting it mildly. Where has common sense gone or is there more
interest in getting quotas rather than helping to boost the
number of visitors and help the hard pressed businesses in
Lisburn during this difficult economic period."
Councillor David Archer said a number of
people had approached him to complain about the parking tickets
while the Championships were still taking place.
He said he had been told by NCP's Parking
Enforcement Unit they had received no prior notification of the
"It is clear that in the future both the
Council and the PSNI need to encourage the organisers to liaise
with NCP officials at the earliest possible opportunity when
they become aware of a major event taking place in the city
centre," he added. "I will be speaking to the
relevant officials in both organisations in an attempt to
prevent any similar confusion in the future."
Total of 18 tickets issued
A SPOKESPERSON for the Department for Regional
Development said a total of 18 parking tickets were issued in
the Governors Road area last Saturday.
Nine were on vehicles parking in contravention
of double yellow lines.The rest were issued within Governors
Road Car Park. Eight were on vehicles parked outside the bay
markings. The remaining ticket related to a vehicle where no pay
and display ticket was in evidence.
"Traffic Attendants will enforce all parking
restrictions in accordance with the relevant legislation" she
said. "Traffic Attendants have no discretionary powers to grant
exemptions to the restrictions other than those identified in
"The primary objective of parking enforcement is
to reduce the number of illegally parked vehicles, which in turn
will reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and make roads
more accessible for all users including pedestrians, public
transport, emergency vehicles and blue badge holders. A suitable
level of enforcement is therefore required to deter some
motorists from parking illegally."