“Waterside parking charges will damage”

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A COLERAINE MLA says he is disappointed that Coleraine will lose its last free central car park at the start of June.

The Independent member is questioning the reason for the changes to Waterside car park by the Department of Regional Development.

He said: “Of course, the main aim is to make money, easy money.

“Earnings from parking charges will not ease our collapsing high street. If anything charges will contribute to its downfall.

“Town centre car parking charges encourage people to go out-of-town towards large shopping hubs where parking is free. I encourage the Minister to realise the realities of why our town centres are becoming so desolate.

“Furthermore, I appeal to traffic attendants to be more compassionate and tolerant whilst carrying out their work.

“I appreciate that these men and women have a job to do and must adhere to guidelines. I must stress that guidelines allow room for discretion and common sense. I was recently infuriated to learn that a traffic attendant penalised a charity worker for unloading a van with stock for a cancer charity shop.

“This man was freely giving his time and was subsequently punished. It is not the first time I have been approached when unnecessary and quite frankly cruel penalties have been imposed.

“Should I hear of similar cases, I will be contacting the Minister to address this issue, “ said the MLA,