Off-street parking charges set to go up

OFF-STREET parking charges on Castle Street and Church Street, Ballymoney are set to increase.

The new charges mean that shoppers parking at Castle Street will no longer have the option to pay 30p to leave their vehicle for three hours and will be expected to pay double! While on Church Street, visitors will have to pay 10p extra per hour.

During a recent Leisure and Amenities Committee meeting, members heard that the Department of Regional Development Minister had considered and approved the car park charges for the Ballymoney Council area.

One of the key reasons for the increase was to ‘influence where drivers park, allowing for higher turnover of short stay spaces’.

The report explained: ‘Castle Street to increase in charge from 30p for up to three hours to 60p for up to six hours and 90p all day to a charge of 20p per hour or part thereof. Church Street charges to increase from 30p per hour to 40 per hour.

‘The Department will advertise a notice in the local press once the order has been made. This notice will show the changes in tariffs and the date the new tariffs will come into effect.

‘The key consideration used in setting the new charges are:

* The need to influence where drivers park, allowing for higher turnover of short stay spaces and therefore an increase in the availability of short stay parking in support of the commercial viability of the town centre.

* The need to make efficient use of the exisiting car park provision.

* The history of tariff increase in the town.

* The need for charges to reflect increased costs. For example, rates bills, which are a major component of the cost of operating a pay car park.

* The need to fully recover the cost of providing the car park services. This is in line with DFP guidance in Managing Public Money in NI.

* And the level of charges in other regional towns and comparable or smaller size. 30p per hour tariff will move to 40p hour tariff. The 30p tariff has been the general charge in provincial towns for more than 10 years. The increase is being applied throughout NI.’