LOCAL people are finally to have their say on the controversial on-street car parking charges in Lisburn as part of a review into the system.
Ever since the charges were introduced last July there has been an unprecedented level of complaints from motorists and local businesses about the amount charged and the over-enthusiastic issuing of penalty notices.
Now Roads Service are to carry out a survey among the people who are affected.
The news was revealed after a cross party delegation of MLAs took the complaints to regional development minister Conor Murphy.
Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP), Basil McCrea (UUP), Paul Butler (Sinn Fein) and Jonathan Craig (DUP) said theY were 'hopeful' changes would be made to the system which would benefit everyone in Lisburn.
They also urged anyone who received a questionnaire from Roads Service, asking their opinion on the current charges, to ensure they returned it before the April 30 deadline.
"We had a very useful meeting with the Minister about the problems then have been with the charging for on-street parking in Lisburn city centre," said Mr Donaldson.
"This has affected the general public and traders in the city and a number of concerns have been raised with us about these issues.
"Roads Service are currently undertaking a review of the parking regime in Lisburn city centre and I encourage everyone who has received a questionnaire from Roads Service to return it as soon as possible, and certainly before the April 30 deadline," he added. Mr Butler said he was hopeful changes, such as a reduction in the charges and more short stay parking spaces, could be implemented.
"I am hopeful there will be changes in the near future," said Mr Butler. "I would also ask those enforcing charges to have a measured response.'
Mr McCrea said more meetings would be held in the coming weeks and added: "It is really important people return the questionnaire to Roads Service before next week."
Mr Craig, who had revealed that over £1 million would be generated each year by on-street parking in Lisburn city centre, demanded to know what investment would be made in the city from that money.
After meeting the Minister and his Department it was welcome to hear that both the issue of charging costs and the level of enforcement would be looked at and adjusted in line with the feedback from the present consultation process," said Mr Craig. "I also welcome that as part of the consultation process, the Department would meet with local elected members and the town centre traders to discuss parking issues."
THE Roads Service have said the new on-street parking charges have benefitted Lisburn city centre but do you agree?
According to the Roads Service the benefits include:
Do you think the on-street parking charges have brought these benefits to the city centre? Do you support the new charges or would you like to see them changed?
Have you had a good or bad experience with parking in Lisburn City Centre?
If so, get in touch and let us know your side of the story. Contact the Ulster Star at 12A Bow Street, Lisburn, BT28 1BN, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 92 679111.