The reduced £1 fee for five hours parking is to be introduced locally on a permanent basis across the new council area, Armagh I can reveal.
And a notice of intention to create an Administrative Order to this effect will shortly be advertised publicly.
Up until now the scheme has been a pilot for a reduced rate of off-street parking.
At its monthly meeting this week, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council agreed that it would continue.
And there will be no need for consultation on the issue.
The responsibility of car park now rests with the local council and it is up each of the 11 ‘super-councils’ to make their own decisions in this regard.
ACBCBC Council has now agreed to the publication of the Administrative Order after being brought through a report by Lewis Porter, Principal Administrative Officer, Lands & Property Services.
During the course of the meeting, Councillor Haughian asked for further information to be brought back to the June meeting of the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee, providing a breakdown of what happens to the £1 per 5 hours.
At the same time, Councillor O’Hanlon warned that if £1.10 was inserted into the machine, this allowed just hours of parking, not five. He urged caution going forward in this regard.
Councillor Buckley said he was not in favour of charging for the car parks and requested a breakdown of revenue from each car park.
But Councillor Curran said this was not just about revenue, but about ensuring there were parking spaces available for the businesses in the town centres.
He referred to a situation in another council area at Christmas time, where shoppers had used the car parks closest to the town centre, and had headed off to other towns to shop.
The Principal Administrative Officer explained that the council was tied into an NSL contract and, therefore, if there were no car parking charges, this would cost council money.
He went on to say that the revenue paid for the contractors, traffic attendants, and so on.
Mr Porter also explained that the scheme had only been introduced into the car parks that made money or broke even. He said other councils were introducing the scheme and that it was revenue for council. Non-charge car parks were maintained and managed by council, but they were off-set by the charge car parks.
In response to Councillor O’Hanlon’s point of paying £1.10, the Administrative Order will state that if the charge of £1 was not stuck to, other charges applied.
Park n Rides remain free and are excluded from the £1 for five hours scheme.
There are currently 19 charged car parks to which the Administrative Order will apply.
The Notice – and a list of the car parks affected – will also be made available for inspection at the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council Offices.
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