Clare Bailey MLA says more parking enforcement needed

Monday March 5th 2018

Green Party MLA Clare Bailey has welcomed the Department for Infrastructure’s new clampdown on illegal parking on Belfast’s main arterial routes, but says more needs to happen.

The removal and clamping operation, beginning today, Monday 5th March, includes a two-week one-strike warning period, during which any drivers found to be parking illegally in urban clearways or bus lanes will be issued with an immediate warning notice in relation to the clamping and removal of their vehicle.

Clare Bailey, said: “While we welcome this action as a move towards to reducing congestion on Belfast’s arterial routes, we need to see similar levels of enforcement on residential streets.

“Belfast has the unwelcome title of being known as one of the UK’s most congested cities, especially during peak times, and these efforts to free up key routes will help to encourage commuters to switch to public transport and reduce the environmental impact from idling engines that can be hazardous to public health.

“However, the Green Party would urge all statutory agencies to deliver a similar level of enforcement in order to target illegal parking in Belfast’s residential streets as well as the arterial routes.

“We recently facilitated a public meeting attended by political representatives from across the community and residents made it very clear that they need urgent action to deal with the daily surge of commuters who clog their streets with parked traffic. Inconsiderate parking is causing community tension and preventing some streets from being able to access basic services such as bin collections.”

Vehicles that are found to be parking illegally may either be removed by enforcement staff to a legal parking location where they will be clamped or they may be removed from the area and towed to the Department’s vehicle pound, located in Mallusk.

Both outcomes will involve a £90 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), which can be discounted if paid within 14 days. An additional £40 will be payable for the release of vehicles that have been relocated, and an additional £105 for vehicles that are sent to the pound, with a daily £12 per day storage charge.

Green Party rep for Balmoral, Anthony Flynn added: “The issue of illegal parking in Belfast can have serious knock-on effects across our city in terms of our economy, public health and local environment.

“The latest research I have seen has suggested that congestion in Belfast has cost our local economy £14 million with drivers losing an estimated 25 days behind the wheel of their car.

“Unfortunately, these levels are rising across the UK, with Belfast being no exception. Any action that can be taken to help reduce this shortfall must be strongly welcomed and supported.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Linda Stewart

028 9052 1141
07594 391264
07761 254553

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