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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

‘Proposed’ Charges & Changes to off street parking across Borough

‘Proposed’ changes to car parking charges could be implemented across the Causeway Coast & Glen Council Borough as soon as a few months time if what appears to be a recent proposal is agreed.

In a document seen by the Ballymoney Bubble the two current pay & display car parks in Ballymoney, situated at Church Street and Castle Street, could see an increase from 40 to 50 pence per hour.

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Townhead Street which is currently free to park in, is now being proposed to become a pay & display car park priced at 30 pence per hour, between the hours of 8:30 – 18:30.

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Several other previously free car parks are on the list, again proposed to move to pay & display, including a hugely popular tourist hot spot, Balintoy Harbour.

Asking local Councillor John McAuley about the proposed changes, he said;

“This is the first that I have seen this proposal.

When the Causeway Coast and Glens Council was formed, equal and fair charges for all service provision was to be a priority. This levelling of charges has happened with regards other facilities and my opinion in this instance would be that all car parks should be charged at the same rate across the borough.

Why should one town be cheaper to park in than another. We also need to take into consideration the impact on businesses before agreeing to any change of policy.

Without knowing the financial details, I would be mindful to apply lower charges across more car parks within the borough, rather than less car parks carrying the financial burden for everywhere.”

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It is believed that changes to the enforcement of these off street car parks is also on the cards.

Currently the contract for parking enforcement across the borough is still handled by NSL via their service agreement with DfI, despite that from the 1st April 2015 responsibility for off street car parks was transferred to the council.

Now it appears the tender for carparks could fall to another company, Car Park Services LTD (CPS), who manage and operate car parks under the business name ‘HandyPark’ throughout Northern Ireland in mostly Belfast but also more locally, with five in Coleraine.

Further evidence that they will be taking over enforcement of car parks from NSL in the borough is that CPS are currently recruiting for full and part time parking attendants, where they list the client as ‘Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’ on the job advert which you can view here.

Car Park Services LTD

CPS also manage sites on behalf of the Belfast Health Trust and Belfast City Council.

NSL however is thought to continue with enforcement of street parking as this still remains the responsibility of DfI.

East Londonderry MLA, Maurice Bradley has made comment saying;

“I believe there has been some sort of consultation on current car parking charges and perhaps a few proposals coming forward on increased charges where there are existing charges and charges where there currently is none. I would ask Councillors when they are making their decisions to apply equality and set a charge for all car parks in the Borough at the same rate, no discrepancies,

“At the moment, 70% of revenue accrued from car parking charges occurs in Coleraine, yet only 20% of the Borough’s Car Parks are located in Coleraine. It is 50p per hour to park beside my office at the moment. Although unconfirmed, I believe there are moves to increase that amount to 70p per hour.

“That is illogical, it will drive more shoppers in the direction of the out of town Riverside Development where car parking is free. For someone like me, that would mean £5.60 per day, or £28 per week, based upon a five-day week. That is unsustainable while in other towns proposals are for £2.40 per day, or £12 per week, based upon a five-day week.

“These unjustifiable hikes of inequality will increase parking in residential areas like Millburn, Union Street, Mountsandel Road, Waterside etc., etc. That in turn will have a detrimental impact on people who rely on parking being available outside their homes.

“Let’s be clear, these charges will affect workers coming to their place of employment, often in low-paid jobs. I understand proposed charges will be from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. with one exception.

“If the lowest priced car park charge is 30p per hour (proposed) then all car parks should be 30p per hour. No exceptions. Coleraine ratepayers, shoppers and employees cannot be expected to subsidise parking in other areas of the Borough any longer. I would appeal to Councillors to end this act of wilful inequality,”

Causeway Council were asked to comment but all their spokesperson would say was;

“We will be issuing information on this in the coming weeks”.

Below is a full list of the ‘proposed’ charges to the various car parks in the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council area:

BalintoyBalintoy HarbourFREE50P/hour
BallycastleAnn Street20p/hour30p/hour
BallycastleMarina HarbourFREE50P/hour
BallymoneyChurch Street40p/hour50p/hour
BallymoneyCastle Street20p/hour30p/hour
BallymoneyTownhead StreetFREE30p/hour
ColeraineThe Mall50p/hour70p/hour
ColeraineAbbey Street50p/hour70p/hour
ColeraineLong Commons50p/hour50p/hour
ColeraineRailway Road20p/hour30p/hour
ColeraineRailway Place20p/hour40p/hpur
PortbalintraeBeach RoadFREE50P/hour
PortrushEast StrandFREE50P/hour
PortrushWest StrandFREE50P/hour
PortrushDunluce AvenueFREE50P/hour
PortrushLansdowne RoadFREEFREE
PortrushHarbour RoadFREE£1/HOUR
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