Ann Street car parking charges

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Moyle District Council is to ask DRD exactly how many shoppers are paying to use Ballycastle’s Ann Street car park.

The issue was raised at Monday night’s meeting of Council when Cllr Joan Baird asked members to support her in asking DRD to reconsider charging for car parking in Ann Street.

“The car parking charge is minimal, the car park is sitting almost empty on most days and the charge only serves as a nuisance to shoppers,” she said.

“Charging at Ann Street has not helped the shops there, on the contrary it has disadvantaged this important shopping street which is the hub of the town.

“Contrast the Ann Street car park with the one at the top of Castle Street which is totally free. We are helping to create unfair advantage to some parts of Ballycastle by allowing this situation to pertain.

“I propose we take action to have Ann Street freed from parking charges and give the shops a chance to prosper in these time of severe economic restraint.”

Cllr Randal McDonnell agreed saying: “Every modern town lives on people driving in rather than walking. It wa a stupid idea in the first place and should never have been agreed to. Ease of parking is vital and it should be convenient.”

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Donal Cunningham said that he agreed that Council needed to support the local economy but reminded members that the same arguments were used to have the parking fees introduced.

It was agreed to ask DRD for statistics on usage, footfall and turnaround times in the car park before making any further decisions on the matter.