Plans for over 1,000 new pay and display parking bays in South Down have been labelled as a “daft” decision that will be “detrimental to the local economy”.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is currently undergoing a Parking Control Measures Inception Process, which will generate new income for the local authority from parking costs and fines.
However, as a review of the parking bays come into effect, a local councillor has warned that small businesses will be impacted at the till.
Mournes rep Henry Reilly (DUP) said: “The new car parking is a really daft decision and will only put great obstacles in the way for local and small businesses especially retail.
“We should be looking to attract people into our towns and villages across south Down, not making them pay for parking, which will only send them shopping elsewhere.
“Some of the big shopping centres now even have free parking in many places, which will mean shoppers will go to them.
“The new parking charges are coming in as a direct result of the council wanting to make more money on top of raising the rates, they will be detrimental to the local economy.
“I am absolutely opposed to these new parking proposals and I along with my party colleagues will be opposing them especially as they go in to a review process.”
A management company to enforce penalties is yet to be contracted with a 12 month extension added to the previous agreement which expired on October 2022.
The council report states: “It is anticipated the new service contract should be operational by November 1, 2023.
“It would be advisable to permit a period of bedding-in for the new service provider, thus aiming for a commencement date of April 2024, to implement Parking Control Measures Inception Process.”
“I know how much pressure they are under in Daisy Hill. Monaghan Row would substantially increase the service delivered at Daisy Hill.” https://t.co/aM9HM4BHss
— Armagh I (@ArmaghI) February 19, 2023