It has emerged that shopkeepers, pedestrians, motorists and carloads of youths hurled ‘large amounts of abuse’ at parking attendants during their first patrols in Coalisland for years.
The attendants were warned ‘not to come back’, prompting a request for a ‘police escort’ for further visits to the east Tyrone town.
It was disclosed earlier this year that drivers in Coalisland have not received a single ticket from parking attendants for six years in a row.
Lord Morrow, who has been pushing for the deployment of traffic wardens in Coalisland, described parking there as a “free-for-all”.
“It is a disgrace that traffic attendants have been hounded out of Coalisland simply for doing their job”, said the DUP representative.
“Is it going to be the norm across Northern Ireland when irate motorists object to enforcement measures they simply hurl abuse at traffic attendants who withdraw and no action is taken?”
One of the parking attendants described his ordeal: “On a number of occasions we were photographed and challenged as to what we were doing in Coalisland and that Lord Morrow had no right to ask us to go through as the town has nothing to do with him.
“One shopkeeper got very aggressive when [my colleague] was unable to issue to certain vehicles as there were no lines present as is the case with the majority of the town.
“On leaving the town we were subjected to more abuse and told not to come back whilst several car loads of young males followed us around the town giving us dog’s abuse.”
In another email exchange, an official from NSL – the firm contracted by TransportNI to employ parking attendants – described how they contacted the PSNI to request a police ‘escort’ for their next visit to Coalisland.