Police in Coleraine are to step up enforcement in response to the growing problem of motorists breaching the town’s pedestrian zone.
With the busy Christmas shopping period about to move into full swing with the lights switch on this weekend, the PSNI is warning of enforcement action against anyone ignoring traffic regulations in the retail heart.
The PSNI stated: “After numerous complaints police in Coleraine would like to draw attention to the marked increase of vehicles using the town centre pedestrian zone including cars, jeeps, motorcycles and vans.
“This is a pedestrian zone for the use of those on foot. The message is simple: Do not enter the pedestrian zone unless you have a valid permit.”
“Officers from Coleraine NPT (Neighbourhood Policing Team) and LPT (Local Policing Team) will challenge those who decide to use the pedestrian zone unlawfully and enforcement will follow. The pedestrian zone is for the use of pedestrians and not a thoroughfare for vehicles.”
Their initiative is backed by East Londonderry MLA Maurice Bradley, who has an office in the town centre.
Mr Bradley said: “I welcome the operation by the PSNI to clamp down on the number of vehicles using the pedestrian zone. As we approach the Christmas period it is vital that we make our town centre as accessible to shoppers as possible in a bid to boost the local economy.
“This weekend will see the annual event to switch on the town’s Christmas lights. This event marks the start of the Christmas period for local retailers, a time that many rely on to boost profits for the remainder of the year.
“I would urge anyone without a valid permit to use one of the town’s many parking areas.”
LPT officers were in the area on Friday speaking with local businesses and engaging with shoppers.
Police added: “Please be advised that whilst we understand that disabled drivers require access to the town centre for short business trips, we wish to advise and remind those with access to the town centre that it is a pedestrian area and drivers should be careful. ”
Coleraine’s switch on is on Friday with the fun begining in The Diamond area at 6.00pm featuring Beatz Entertainment. The Good King Wenceslas Parade will make its way through town for the tree lighting at 7.00pm.