All change for town car parks

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The proposed changes affects four kiosk operators at The Mall and Abbey Street, Coleraine’s two main town centre car parks.

In a statement to The Coleraine Times, the Department of Regional Development confirmed that the measure will lead to a cost saving of around £1 million per year.

The move comes as a result of DRD’s 2011-2015 savings delivery plan, which was approved by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

NSL, which manages the car parking on behalf of the Roads Service, say that they will “seek to reintegrate” the four affected Coleraine kiosk staff where possible.

Drivers will be pleased to know that parking charges will remain the same at both the Mall and Abbey Street car parks

Meanwhile, figures obtained by The Coleraine Times reveal that the decision by Road Service to charge drivers at Waterside car park may not be paying the expected dividends.

Since the change, in early July, only £10,000 of revenue has been generated - around £150 of per day at the 205 space car park

Before the charges were introduced, the car park was used mainly by people who worked in the town centre or shoppers..

Since then many have found other areas to park, rather than forking out around £20 per month in parking charges.

At the time, many councillors hit out at the decision claiming that the change would not encourage people into the town in these difficult economic times when footfall is vital to struggling local businesses.

Add to that the increasing cost of fuel and it clear to see that car owners are experiencing difficult times.

The Road Service figures show that other car parks in the town are generating much more income than the Bannside facility.

In the same 12 week period, from July 4 to September 28, Railway Road car park, which also charges 20 pence per hour, brought in £19, 889.10. That equates to £276 per day at the 319 space car park - almost double that of Waterside.