Disabled parking bay ‘defies logical mind’

Cllr Ian Stevenson

Cllr Ian Stevenson

Councillors have back a call to hold a meeting with Transport NI over the introduction of a disabled parking bay on Queen Street, Ballymoney.

During last Tuesday’s Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council meeting, members heard that correspondence had been sent from Transport NI outlining details of the bay which will be located outside Mathewson Chemist.

The correspondence report explained: “Transport NI are considering the provision of a disabled parking space at 51-53 Queen Street, Ballymoney. It is also proposed to introduce a time limit of three hours with no return within one hour. This will result in turnover of the bay and ensure that the bay is available throughout the day for all blue badge holders.”

In response councillor Ian Stevenson said he couldn’t believe the plans adding: “It defies a logical mind.”

He explained: “There is limited parking along this road already which is specifically used by Flash in the Pan, a very busy chip shop. Putting a disabled parking space in there has the potential to impact on their trade which is a highly built up area.

“There is a car park at the back of Mathewson Chemist which is not too far away and doesn’t have a disabled bay. I ask Council not to agree to this but ask Roads Service to put a bay at the back of Mathewson.”

Alderman Tom McKeown agreed with councillor Stevenson stating that parking on the road should be left for the retail outlets.

He added: “I can’t understand why Roads Service are proposing to put the bay at the front when it is much easier at the back?”

However Alderman Frank Campbell highlighted that at the back of the chemist was a ramp which may be ‘difficult for disabled users to get up’ where as the front was ‘more level’.

Councillor Philip McGuigan proposed to save Council meeting time, that Ballymoney councillors set up a meeting with Roads Service to discuss the issue which was supported by councillor Joan Baird.

She highlighted: “If it’s a wet day people don’t want to be wheeled a distance from a car park, they want to be handy and close to their destination. They need drop kerb to, something which is in short supply especially at the Causeway Hospital.

“This issue needs to be looked at very seriously and from the point of view of a disabled person.”

Concluding councillor Stevenson said that a meeting had already been arranged with Roads Service.

Mayor Alderman Maura Hickey supported the meeting adding that any problems could be ‘ironed out’ and discussed then with the relevant bodies.