by JULIE ANN SPENCE
Drivers feeling strain of on-street parking
Thousands sign petition calling for meters
and charges to be scrapped
Parking petition handed
over to Roads Minister
of local people have signed a petition calling for an end to
on-street parking charges in Lisburn City Centre.
The parking charges began in September and
since then shoppers, visitors and local businesses have all been
expressing serious concerns about the impact of the scheme.
This week Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson
and MLA Jonathan Craig handed over a petition, with 4600
signatures, to Roads Minister Conor Murphy, calling for an end
to the charges.
"It is clear that the new parking
restrictions and meters introduced in Lisburn city centre have
generated a lot of opposition from local people and the petition
is a clear indication of the strength of feeling on this issue,"
said Mr Donaldson.
"We presented the petition to the Minister
and made it clear there was widespread concern that parking
restrictions were damaging the local economy and acting as a
deterrent to people shopping in the city centre."
Mr Donaldson and Mr Craig also raised with the
Minister the concerns of residents in the
Magheralave Road area of the city, who have seen an increase in
all-day parking in the area since the charges were introduced.
Mr Donaldson said he would be having further consultation about
the parking charges with Lisburn City Centre Management and the
Chamber of Commerce. He also called on the Roads Service to
"look again at and revise" the parking restrictions.
He added: "We have called for a local transport plan for
Lisburn, similar to the transport plan that exists for Belfast
that would provide a more strategic approach to parking and
traffic issues in the city. It would take an overview and
suggest improvements for the future in the context of what is a
rapidly expanding city."