Drivers hit with fines as parking row hots-up

Residents of Clonevin Park have called on TransportNI and the PSNI to take action to resolve ongoing parking problems in their street.
Residents of Clonevin Park have called on TransportNI and the PSNI to take action to resolve ongoing parking problems in their street.

A parking row in Lisburn has escalated this week, with police handing out fines to drivers while residents call for more action to stop illegal parking.

Locals living in Clonevin Park say traffic problems are continuing to blight their street.

For more than two years local householders have been voicing concerns about motorists parking on both sides of the street, blocking footpaths, restricting traffic flow and potentially endangering the safety of pedestrians, including many schoolchildren.

One local resident said that she and her neighbours are “very frustrated and annoyed at the lack of action taken” to resolve the issues they’ve been highlighting.

The residents have drawn up a list of measures they believe are needed in order to address the problem once and for all, including the introduction of extended parking restrictions in the street and the creation of more parking spaces within the grounds of nearby Wallace High School, specifically for use by students.

Responding to the residents’ concerns, a Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said that TransportNI officials have investigated the issues raised by householders and local councillors.

“A review of the available records of personal injury collisions does not highlight a safety issue. As such, on balance, officials believe that the current situation is the best that can be achieved given the circumstances and have no plans to introduce waiting restrictions generally within the street,” she commented.

The spokesperson added, however, that plans are being progressed to extend the existing double yellow lines at the Antrim Road end of Clonevin Park - something residents feel won’t fix the current problems.

Meanwhile the PSNI, who recently announced a crackdown on inconsiderate drivers who obstruct footpaths when they park their cars, have started to step up enforcement action in the area.

Officers have responded to the ongoing problems at Clonevin Park in recent days by issuing several motorists with fixed penalty notices for parking offences.

While the PSNI’s crackdown has been welcomed by residents as “some progress in making the footpaths usable safely by the many schoolchildren and other pedestrians”, not everyone is so happy.

A number of parents of Wallace High pupils who received parking tickets in recent days contacted the Star to hit out at the police actions.

“The police have been very heavy-handed in their approach to this,” said one father.

“If they had contacted the school and asked the students to move their cars they would have done so.

“There was no warning given and to hand out fines like this without trying to resolve the issues first doesn’t do much for community policing that they talk about. I am not aware of anyone’s driveway being blocked and this situation could have been handled a lot better by the police,” he added.

The Star contacted Wallace High School about the ongoing parking problems in Clonevin Park. It had not responded at the time of publication.