How to avoid parking fines - come to Mid Ulster

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It’s not just Coalisland that has become a haven for motorists in urgent need of a parking space with the Mid Ulster Council area reporting the second lowest number of parking tickets issued in Northern Ireland.

Dungannon town had one of the lowest number of parking tickets issued in the North, with just 170 tickets dispensed in the first three months of 2017, compared to 717 in Armagh, 614 in Enniskillen and 477 in Omagh.

In terms of off-street parking tickets issued, Cookstown had the lowest number dispensed in Northern Ireland, with no motorists fined, compared to 278 in Newry, which was the highest outside of Belfast.

In March, no parking tickets at all were issued in Augher, Clogher, Fivemiletown or Moy.

Coalisland, which is not monitored by traffic wardens and whose free parking idyll has attracted the ire of politicians such DUP peer Maurice Morrow, was not even mentioned in the figures released by the Department of Infrastructure.

For six years in a row not a single parking ticket has been issued in Coalisland.

The lack of penalties has caused controversy due to motorists in other towns of a similar size and smaller receiving dozens of penalties.

DUP assembly member Maurice Morrow has previously branded Coalisland a town where “traffic wardens are forbidden to enter”.

Coalisland is regarded as a hotspot for problem parking, but roads chiefs say there are few parking restrictions for attendants to enforce such as double-yellow lines.

They have also previously blamed politicians for opposing the creation of new parking restrictions in the town.

In all, 28,898 penalty charge notices were issued in Northern Ireland during the first three months of 2017, of which just over two-fifths (41%) were issued in Belfast. Off-street parking notices were highest in Fermanagh and Omagh Council at 1,184.