West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

DRD car parking policy criticised

Published: 5 July, 2013

The Chair of Omagh District Council, Anne Marie Fitzgerald has criticised DRD for their policy on parking which prohibits the transfer of tickets between car parks. According to the newly elected chair 'I have been contacted by people who use the public car parks in Omagh every day and who feel that this DRD policy is unfair and motivated by a desire to squeeze every penny out of hard pressed families. 'In one recent case, a man parked his vehicle in the Johnson park car park, paid a fee of £3, arrived back over an hour before the ticket expired. He then attempted to use the same valid ticket at New Brighton car park, which is only 500 yards away from the first car park and is also managed by DRD, but was subsequently issued with a fine!! 'This is grossly unfair, particularly for shoppers who have to move around different parts of the town to access different outlets. Cllr Fitzgerald has raised this matter with her colleague Declan Mc Aleer MLA, who sits on the DRD committee at Stormont. According to Mr Mc Aleer: 'At first, I spoke to the customer services department of DRD who informed me that the 'not transferable' rule was in place due to the differing hourly rates which exist between car parks. 'However, I do not accept this as credible; particularly given that there already is a uniform hourly rate among DRD managed car parks in the town. 'In addition to this, I have written directly to the Minister highlighting this issue and requesting that the 'not transferable' rule is reviewed, particularly in the case of town centres where there already is a standardised rate. Mr Mc Aleer concluded 'Families and traders are finding it difficult enough to survive in this austere economic climate without the added burden of short sighted DRD policies making life more difficult for them'.