Charges devastating

The possible imposition of on street car parking charges in many towns across Northern Ireland could have a devastating effect on the retail sector in these towns, according to Councillor James Simpson.

In a statement, Cllr James Simpson said: “In the case of Ballymoney there is free one hour on street parking during business hours. This allows shoppers time to carry out their business transactions before moving on. The one hour free car parking window is strictely enforced by traffic wardens The system works reasonably well and should be allowed to remain.

“Imposing on street car parking charges would simply drive much needed business out of Ballymoney town centre.

Of course the proposal to introduce car parking charges is not about regulating traffic flow rather it is about raising revenue. Raising revenue by this method will have a devistating effect on town centres in rural towns. Is this what the minister for Regional Develment wants. Surley not. In the interest of protecting town centres this proposal must be strongly and resolutely resisted.”