Northern Ireland news

Almost 80 parking tickets issued outside Co Down store in past month

The area outside Menary's department store on Bangor's Main Street was controlled by a one hour restriction up until last month
Gareth McKeown

ALMOST 80 parking tickets have been issued outside a Co Down department store in the past month.

It has been claimed that trading has been affected after an 18-metre loading bay was marked outside Menary's on Bangor's Main Street.

Since October 17, 78 penalty notices have been issued for illegal parking within the bay. Previously it was legal to park in the bay for up to one hour.

The figures were released by infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard following an assembly question from North Down DUP member Alex Easton.

Mr Easton said the loading bay was "unnecessary" and motorists were not fully aware of the restrictions.

"Many people who have received fines feel that the signage present is not adequate which is also contributing to the number of fines handed out in the short time the loading bay has been in operation.

"This would appear to be a case where a solution imposed is causing greater harm than the problem that was perceived to exist in the first place," he said.

A Transport NI spokesman said: "The loading bay was provided as part of the public realm scheme carried out by Ards and North Down Borough Council in conjunction with the then Department for Social Development.

"Transport NI is content that the loading bay aids road safety and traffic progression. It is for use by all motorists for set down and pick up, as well as for loading large items that cannot be easily carried."

The department says the loading bay is "clearly sign posted" but has pledged to add further identifying markings.

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