Orritor Street plan brings parking and traffic worries

Cookstown District Council has revealed disabled parking bays on Orritor Street could be revoked by the Roads Service.

But the chairperson of the Orritor Street, Crescent Lane Residents Association described the nightmare situation Blue Badge holders face if the proposals come into effect.

A letter addressed to the council and obtained by the MAIL states that a review carried out by the Roads Service suggests the disabled persons’ parking bays at 27 and 38 Orritor Street be revoked.

This has been opposed by Ann-Marie McGirr who claims that people in the Orritor Street area are in desperate need of more disabled parking spaces.

“It will be a nightmare for disabled people to find a parking space outside their home if plans to revoke them go ahead,” Ms McGirr said.

“More people living in the area are in need of these parking bays and I don’t think there are enough.

“A neighbour of mine has a really bad heart but unfortunately he doesn’t have access to a bay. Another neighbour who uses one of these bays is a stroke victim, so she really needs it.

“I don’t know what the disabled people here will do as they use these spaces all the time.

There are currently 46 disabled parking bays in the town and a non-Blue Badge holder caught using a space can be charged up to £30 or more.

Ms McGirr said she plans to raise a number of issues with the Department of Regional Development (DRD), including the removal of the disabled parking bays.

“I also want to arrange a meeting with the DRD to discuss the proposed on-street car parking charges.

“We are already having to deal with other people using our parking spaces outside our homes on so many occasions. And it will be made worse whenever these charges come into effect.

“There have been incidents in the past were bin and oil men couldn’t get through as there were too many cars taking up all the space, it was a complete nightmare for residents who couldn’t get oil.

“We also want to campaign for speed bumps to be erected in the area and a pelican crossing for the young children who use the play-park. Children from all different parts of the community use that park and it’s so dangerous crossing the busy main road.

“These are the many issues I hope to raise with the Department if I can arrange a meeting with them.”

A spokesperson for the DRD said: “A disabled parking bay review is being carried out on Orritor Street as resurfacing is planned for later this year.

“However when the work and review of the bays is completed it is likely that three out of the four disabled parking bays will be retained. If the disabled bay legislation is revoked the bay will revert to a parking space for use by everyone and there are no current plans to make it pay and display.”