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Newry and Armagh in top four for most parking tickets this year to date

Frightening figures: MLA to 'seek remedy' with ABC Council and Department

Newry and Armagh have once again weighed in at the top of a rather unenviable poll.

But this time there’s no disputing facts and figures and it’s something which simply cannot be shrugged off.

Penalty Charge Notices – and too many of them to be precise, certainly for the size of the area.

Both Newry and Armagh have featured in the top four places in Northern Ireland for the number of PCNs doled out over the first three months of the year.

And when you boil it right down, Armagh actually has the highest number of PCNs issued per square kilometre between January and March.

That is something which does not sit well with Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan – and something which he says he intends to raise at both local and central government levels.

The Sinn Fein representative said the latest figures were released in response to a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Infrastructure.

In all, 81 towns and cities were listed.

Top of the pile was Belfast, with 8,331, followed by Newry, on 1919, Derry/L’derry on 1,365 and Armagh on 717.

Mr Boylan said the picture is much worse when taking into consideration the populations of the areas concerned.

“WE must remember the stark contrast between Belfast’s population of 280,000+, Newry with roughly 34,000 and the population of Armagh at only 14,000+,” he said. “We have the highest issued per sq km.”

And looking at it per local council area, he said Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough was second highest of the 11, with 1,036, coming in just after Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, which had 1,184.

Mr Boylan said he fully intends now to make representations to both the ABC Council and the Department of Infrastructure to try and seek a remedy to the unacceptable situation.

The Assemblyman added: “There are plenty of people who park poorly and in doing so are putting other pedestrians and road users lives in danger.

“Ensuring smooth traffic flow in our towns and cities is essential as is the need to allow for people to access parking spaces, however it is equally essential that we support local traders and ensure town centres remain vibrant.

“It’s the integrity of the system that should be questioned rather than traffic wardens, who are only doing their jobs and ensuring regulations are adhered to.”

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