Armstrong calls for review of on-street parking and fines

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has called for a review of free on-street parking during a debate on the topic.

The motion in the Assembly called for a reduction in the mandatory £90 car parking fine, while also allowing the first 30 minutes of parking across towns and cities to be free. Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong said although parking was an emotive issue, she could not agree with either the proposed free 30-minute on-street parking period or a reduction in the mandatory fine.

“Prior to becoming an MLA, I worked in the field of transport for almost 16 years. During that time, the issue of on-street parking featured regularly in our considerations. It can create havoc for citizens. Being able to find appropriate car parking spaces can be a problem but for many with disabilities, and families with young children, it is rather bad parking that causes the most concern and danger.

“Nobody likes parking fines but if you park correctly, you don’t get a parking fine. The current fine level is enough to make a driver think twice about where or when they shouldn’t. The Minister should indeed review fines, but do it to consider if the current level is enough to be an effective deterrent.

“Today’s motion also called for 30 minutes of free parking, which sounded good until you consider that time is not enough to help parents who need to park, get their pram out, remove their child from the child seat and then get to the shop and back in that time. We need to review the current situation and ask people what they think.

“Bad parking causes difficulties for other road users and pedestrians. A responsible government must consider putting in place deterrents to prevent people from taking risks and putting lives in danger. Let’s have a review and consider all the issues.”

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