Parking restrictions due to come into force

Cookstown main street
Cookstown main street

Free parking in certain areas of Cookstown, Magherafelt and Dungannnon is coming to an end.

Mid Ulster MLA Keith Buchanan has said that legislation is now passed making parking restrictions enforceable in all three towns from December 21.

“There will be advisory notices issued for the first couple of weeks with the enforcement beginning at the start of January 2019,” he said.

Traffic attendants were left powerless over the past year because laws allowing fines to be issued had not been signed off.

Motorists in the know have been able to avail of the legal loophole which arose following completion of Mid Ulster Council’s public realm schemes, and the collapse of Stormont.

“All good things come to an end,” said one motorist. “It was handy to park along the main street for as long as you wanted and not get a ticket.”

A Department for Infrastructure (DfI) spokesperson said: “The Parking Places on Roads and Waiting Restrictions (Cookstown) Order (Northern Ireland) 2018, The Parking Places on Roads and Waiting Restrictions (Magherafelt) Order (Northern Ireland) 2018 and The Parking Places on Roads and Waiting Restrictions (Dungannon) Order (Northern Ireland) 2018 were made on 30 November 2018 and come into operation on 21 December 2018.

"However, there will be an advisory period commencing on 21 December to allow drivers to become familiar with the new restrictions. During this period ‘Advisory Notices’ will be issued to vehicles found to be parked in contravention of restrictions. These Notices will be issued on a one strike only basis. Repeat offenders will be issued with a £90 Penalty Charge Notice.”