Parking change will boost Magherafelt economy - Overend

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MID-ULSTER Ulster Unionist Assembly Member Sandra Overend has commended the DRD Minister Danny Kennedy for listening to concerns from Magherafelt residents and business people and changing the parking rules.

Mrs Overend, who is the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Spokesperson for the Ulster Unionist Party, said, “My first Ministerial meeting following my election was with the Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA, and I met him again in September, bringing with me some local business representatives, to discuss at length the parking issue in Magherafelt.

“Minister Kennedy made the decision to implement a proposal to reduce the tariff in the town’s Central Car Park to 40p for a three hour parking period and to extend the duration of on-street parking from one hour to two hours, changes that have now taken effect. Changes were also made to the location of free parking across the various town centre car parks with the hope that parking could be spread more evenly.

“I understand that it is initially difficult to adapt to changes but it is hoped that these adjustments will result in improved parking experiences in the town for shoppers and workers alike.

“Following representation from business owners in the town, who told me about shoppers leaving their store without completing their purchase because their parking time was up, I asked the DRD Minister if there was anything that could be done to overcome this problem. At our meeting I was introduced to ‘Parkmobile’.

“I must say, that I have become a recent convert to the Parkmobile scheme, a consumer friendly method of paying for parking using your mobile phone, and find it to be useful no matter what town or city I park in.

“It is useful in the fact that I don’t need to look for small change to prepay for parking as I can just call Parkmobile with a code relating to the place where I’m parking and call again to stop the charge. I believe there is also an App for your phone, which would be really handy.

“This is a useful tool and will ensure that drivers only pay for the actual amount of time they are parked, which can bring real savings for motorists. To find out more about the service and to register free, visit: www.myparkmobile.co.uk”

The Mid-Ulster MLA continued, “All these changes will provide a boost to consumers and retailers alike, and have already been welcomed in Magherafelt.

“Local business rely on there being good levels of economic activity in the town over the busy Christmas period, and these improvements can only have a positive effect on that.

“I can assure local shoppers, workers and business people that I intend to continue my dialogue with the Roads Minister on this issue, and I would urge any constituents, be they representatives of local retailers or consumers, to get in touch with me on 028 867 48090 or by e-mail on sandra.overend@mla.niassembly.gov.uk if they have any comments on these changes, so that these can be taken into account in any future discussions on parking policy in Magherafelt.”