Concerns are growing that “over-zealous” parking enforcement could drive business out of Newry.
Newry Sinn Fein representatives Mickey Brady MP and Conor Murphy MLA met with senior officials in Department of Infrastructure headquarters in Belfast to raise the concerns of businesses and shoppers in the city.
They say resident and shoppers alike are concerned about “over-zealous and inflexible enforcement” of parking regulations in the city.
Mr Murphy said: “Myself and Mickey Brady made it clear that while we agree that parking regulations and enforcement are necessary to assist traffic flow in a busy shopping centre like Newry, this needs to be done on a sensible basis which does not deter people from coming top the city.
“We cited numerous examples of where residents, visitors and people servicing businesses have raised genuine complaints around the approach of traffic attendants and have asked that more flexibility and common sense be applied.
“Business organisations are concerned that this issue has the potential to drive business away from Newry.”
Mr Murphy said the Department officials have assured them that they will look at the Newry experience and see how improvements can be made.
“They have also undertaken to make more information publicly known in relation to parking regulations and how the apply across Newry,” he said. “In particular in the private car parks which the Department have no responsibility for.
“The officials also assured us that there are no targets set for parking enforcement notices and no bonus for traffic attendants in relation to tickets issued.”
Mr Murphy also said they all agreed that abuse of traffic attendants is “unacceptable and that we would monitor the parking issue in the time ahead”.