Car parks and fines worth £450,000

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Car parking charges and fines are worth some £450,000 to the Causeway Coast and Glens Council, a meeting heard this week.

Depsite the income, some members raised concerns about the running costs. Council is set to spend £150,000 upgrading two Coleraine centre car parks.

Council recently took over responsibility for car parking from the Department for Regional Development at Stormont.

Concerns were raised over the cost of the transfer by DUP Councillor Ian Stevenson, who said having responsibility for car parking was originally supposed to be “cost-neutral.”

He said: “When the powers were transferred over to us it was argued to us that this was going to be cost neutral, but it does not seem to be that it is not cost neutral. Is that a failure on our part?”

Adrian McPeake, Director of Environmental Services, said: “We had no real option but to take it on. We had to ensure that the carparks were fit for purpose, which they were, but there was always going to be maintenance requirements going forward. The allowance for that probably wasn’t enough to satisfactorily deal with that. They still generate a considerable amount of money for the council - £450,000- so it is still an income generation.”