TICKET HOTSPOT?

THE MAYOR of Ballymoney says he would like to hear an explanation from roads chiefs as to why more parking tickets were handed out by attendants in the town than in places with similar and even larger populations.

Cllr Ian Stevenson (DUP) was speaking to the Times after it emerged that 1,431 tickets were handed out in Ballymoney during 2011.

And that was more than towns with similar or bigger populations than Ballymoney - Antrim which had 1,297; Larne with 1,374 and Limavady 1,330.

In Ballymoney most tickets - 352 - were given out at Church Street, the figures show.

Wardens gave out 232 tickets in Ballycastle where North Street accounted for 49; 24 tickets were given out at the Giant’s Causewasy and just 12 tickets were handed out during the year in Bushmills.

125,848 parking tickets were issued in towns and cities across Northern Ireland in 2011.

Online news site, ‘The Detail’, has compiled an interactive map which shows the number of tickets issued in each Northern Ireland town and city as well as the most ticketed street/car park in each area.

Each parking ticket issued by NSL - who carry out the enforcement for the Department of Regional Development Roads Service - costs car owners £60 – or £30 if it is paid within 14 days.

Mayor Stevenson is interested in the Ballymoney situation.

He said: “There is a need for traffic control but every ticket issued has to to be accounted for. It would be interesting to get this on the agenda for a Council meeting. Councillors are elected by the people and there seems to be issues that are causing concern to many people within the Borough.

“We have to study these statistics and find out the reasons why these tickets have been issued in Ballymoney. There is a need for traffic wardens to do their job but we need to see how these figures stand up to scrutiny.”

A DRD Roads Service spokesperson told the Times: “Traffic Attendants are deployed to enforce parking restrictions across Northern Ireland. Areas where illegal parking causes most disruption will receive more enforcement than areas with few illegal parking problems.

“Parking enforcement is provided to encourage drivers to park properly. The benefits of having fewer illegally parked vehicles include less congestion, more available parking spaces in town centres and car parks, and improved safety.

“Roads Service believes that these benefits are essential to the vitality of towns and cities. It is, therefore, important that effective enforcement continues to be provided. The number of Penalty Charge Notices issued in any one town or city depends on many factors, not least of which are the size of the town/city, and the volume of traffic experienced.”