Alliance Party activists have called on Causeway Coast and Glens Council to re-think its decision to introduce seasonal parking charges in some tourist spots – a move opposed by Councillor Barney Fitzpatrick.
Approved at a recent meeting, the move will see charges introduced across the Council area, including Ballintoy Harbour, Ballycastle Marina and part of Portballintrae Beach Road.
Councillor Barney Fitzpatrick said: “I opposed this process every step of the way, believing it will negatively impact the summer season trade that our area is very dependent on. We should be encouraging tourism into our area, not putting up obstacles to keep people away
Yvonne Boyle said: “The introduction of these charges sends exactly the wrong message to visitors. We should be welcoming tourists into our local communities, not trying to squeeze every penny out of their wallets. If people begin avoiding our local towns because of these parking charges, then this will have a large knock on effect to our businesses and economy.”
Chris McCaw added: “These charges will further impact the residents of the affected towns. Charging for parking will also result in more visitors parking in residential areas close to the tourist spots. This could prevent people from being able to park close to their own homes, which is a particular problem for those who are unable to walk long distances. Simply put, the Council has not given enough thought to the impact these charges will have on local people.”
For information, the charges will affect the following areas:
Ballintoy Harbour, Ballycastle Marina, part of Portballintrae Beach Road, Portrush Dunluce Avenue, Portrush Landsdowne Crescent, Portrush East strand, Portrush West Strand and Portstewart Convention Avenue.