Official: Traffic wardens won’t be returning to Coalisland

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Plans to install traffic wardens in Coalisland have been permanently scrapped.

In a move that will anger many and cheer others, Minister for Infrastructure Chris Hazzard announced that traffic wardens will not be returning to the East Tyrone town due to the low number of tickets issued on a trial run last year.

For years, the town’s free parking idyll has been a draw for political ire.

An investigation was launched at the end of last year after one of the first traffic wardens seen in Coalisland in years was threatened.

The parking attendant spent just 30 minutes in the town before being hounded out.

The latest move is part of a Northern Ireland-wide review looking at parking enforcement deployment which could see traffic wardens removed from a number of areas.

It will consider effectiveness of deployment and the number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) / Warning Notices issued and the number of Vehicle Drive Aways (VDAs) recorded.

Minister Hazzard said: “Following representations to my Department to commence scheduled parking enforcement in Coalisland, a trial was established to ascertain if scheduled routine enforcement is necessary. During the trial which ran from August to December 2016, two warning notices were issued.

“This trial has now ended and on the basis of efficient and effective use of resources, Coalisland will not have routine scheduled enforcement.”

DUP MLA Lord Morrow, who had been pushing for the deployment of traffic wardens in Coalisland, had described parking there as a “free-for-all”.