Probe after traffic wardens 'verbally abused' in Coalisland

Coalisland has had no parking ticket issued in six years
Brendan Hughes

A STORMONT department has launched a review after the first parking attendants seen in Coalisland in years were subjected to verbal abuse.

The rare sight of a 'red-coat' in the Co Tyrone town last week caused a stir online after bemused passers-by shared photos on Facebook.

For the past six years not a single parking ticket has been issued in Coalisland.

Traffic wardens had not been routinely deployed in the town, but it was recently agreed that they would visit once a month for a trial period.

However, the plan is being reconsidered and a 'risk assessment' carried out after officials visiting last week were verbally abused.

Some reports claimed a parking attendant spent just half an hour in the town before being hounded out.

A Department for Infrastructure (DfI) spokesman said: "Whilst carrying out their duties last week, traffic attendants were subjected to verbal abuse.

"As a result, a review of their deployment and risk assessment will now be carried out."

The PSNI said it has not received any reports about the matter.

Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA Linda Dillon condemned the verbal abuse while the DUP's Maurice Morrow, who has previously branded Coalisland a town where "traffic wardens are forbidden to enter", also criticised the "intimidatory actions".

Coalisland's lack of parking tickets has caused controversy due to motorists in other similarly sized towns receiving dozens of penalties.

But roads officials say the town has few parking restrictions for wardens to enforce such as double-yellow lines.

They have also previously blamed politicians for opposing the creation of new parking restrictions.

In February it emerged that parking attendants across the north have recorded more than 100 threats against them within a year.

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