28 new charge car parks listed

THE locations of 28 new charge car parks have been unveiled.

Belfast, Bangor, Ballymena, Londonderry and Coleraine are included in the list.

The change was agreed last year and is separate from last week’s decision by Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy not to introduce more on-street parking charges.

A DRD spokeswoman said: “The legislation to introduce these charges is at an advanced stage and the department is currently dealing with the small number of objections that were received during its consultation exercise.”

The proposal to make some car parks which are currently free paid-for was part of last year’s annual tariff review. The consultation was advertised in March this year.

The cost of using a Department for Regional Development car park has also gone up by 10p per hour.

On-street parking charges for 30 towns and cities across Northern Ireland will not go ahead, according to the regional development minister.

Mr Kennedy said last Tuesday that he would not be proceeding with the plan. He said he did not feel the timing was right because of the “tough economic climate” in which businesses were operating.

DUP Alderman James McClure commented: “The Minister’s decision not to implement the proposal is a boost for traders in our local towns who are finding it difficult to ride out the effects of the recession.

“In these difficult times we should be encouraging more shoppers into our struggling town centres, so this plan was always going to be the wrong charge at the wrong time.”

In a joint statement, Coleraine Alliance councillors Barney Fitzpatrick and Yvonne Boyle said “This decision is great news for the towns that this proposal would have affected, especially our borough. It will be a major boost to the local shops whose trade would have been hurt by this proposal.”