'No easy option' to Mid Ulster's parking situation - O'Neill

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There is no easy option to the parking situation in Mid Ulster's key towns, Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O'Neill has said.

Urging local people to contribute to the council's consultation on parking which ends on December 29, Mrs O'Neill said it was important that they have their say.

“The use of car parking is one thing that will affect almost all of the constituents in Mid Ulster whether for shopping, for work or socialising. It is important therefore that you have your say on the proposals,” she said today.

“Our local towns currently have a mix of free and charged car parks. This is an impact of the merger from three councils in to one. While I recognise that this may appear inequitable it is vital that the Council considers the many points of view when arriving at a decision.”

“When speaking with some local businesses recently I got a real sense of the variation in opinions that are out there but at the same time those I met where willing to look at options that would work best for the whole town.”

“Both traders, residents, shoppers and employees need to have access to parking but with that comes the need for a balance in easy access to shopping that will benefit traders and shoppers or the need for staff to be able to park all day. The rights of residents who live close to town centres also needs to be considered.”

“As we can see there is no easy option that would suit all the key towns as they each have their own requirements, they each have their own specific challenges. However, there does need to be a mechanism whereby our town centres can be accessed for short periods for shopping for business needs while not penalising the individual or pushing them out of our town centres.”