Motorist slams Magherafelt’s ‘faulty’ ticket machines

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A motorist has hit out at Mid Ulster Council’s inaction in dealing with ‘faulty ticket machines’ in Magherafelt car parks.

Kelly Hamilton told the Mail that she raised the matter with council before Christmas and was “still awaiting that return call.”

She said: “I feel this issue is falling between two stools and it is about time someone took responsibility for this.”

She referred to an incident in which business owner Richard Farquhar raised the same concerns when a pay and display machine at Rainey Street did not take his coins and he received a ticket outside his shop.

“This is an ever increasingly frustrating issue in the town and I question at what time this actually will be rectified,” said Ms Hamilton.

She stressed the number of spaces in Magherafelt to be 593 and only 179 of these are free.

“I feel the number of free spaces available across the car parks in the town is somewhat unfair in comparison to the 406 free spaces in Cookstown and 186 spaces in Dungannon,” she went on.

“Magherafelt is a busy town made up of five or more banks, and a high volume of offices and businesses.

“The majority of people using car park facilities within the town are people working in the town, yet these are the people having to pay for parking and therefore being penalised when parking facilities are faulty.”

Ms Hamilton said she raised the matter with the DRD who have instructed its parking enforcement unit to investigate.

A spokesperson for the council said: ”While the council became responsible for off-street car parks in April last year, responsibility for the enforcement, administration, ticketing and machines remains with Transport NI under an agency agreement.

“Prior to Christmas, because of queries raised about the accuracy of some machines, particularly in one car park in Magherafelt, we asked Transport NI to undertake an inspection.

“The machines were checked and all were found to be operating correctly. We will respond directly to the complainant with regard to the range of other issues which have been raised.”