More ‘common sense’ needed over parking

Music Matters owner Stephen McLoughlin with the parking ticket he received.
Music Matters owner Stephen McLoughlin with the parking ticket he received.

One Lisburn business owner is calling for a bit more common sense after he received a parking ticket outside his own business for running over the allowed time.

Stephen McLoughlin, who owns Music Matters, received a ticket on his clearly branded van as it was parked right outside his shop.

He said: “I was 20 minutes over the time limit.

“It’s my fault I got the ticket and there is no issue with that but I just think it’s a bit unethical.

“My van is clearly branded and I think the traffic warden could have popped his head in the door and give me some sort of warning.”

Stephen feels the pay and display parking on Lisburn’s streets is harming local traders.

He said: “I was very cross. We pay rates and everything else and then things like this are against you as well. It is not helping local traders.

“The only place I can park is outside my shop as there is nowhere off the road. I have to wait for a space there and then you can only park for two hours. Its scandalous.”

Stephen believes there should be some sort of system in place to help traders with loading and deliveries without the fear of the parking fine.

He said: “I’d be interested in seeing what other traders think. Everywhere is struggling and closing and Lisburn is really not helping the town centre.

“The life is being sucked out of it and then you have traffic wardens ready to jump on people trying to make an honest living.”

A Department for Regional Development spokesperson said: “Anyone who feels that a PCN has been incorrectly issued has the right of appeal.

“The appeal, along with any supporting evidence, should be submitted directly to the Department where it will be given full consideration.”

The DRD also said that the main reason for parking enforcement of on-street pay and display bays is to free up parking space in town centres for shoppers in a fair and consistent way.

They said that to service the business needs of retailers, loading/unloading is permitted from on-street pay and display bays providing the activity is attended and continuous.

Vehicles parked without a displaying valid pay and display ticket or cashless parking event will be observed for a period of time (five minutes for cars and 10 minutes for commercial vehicles) by Traffic Attendants to establish if any loading/unloading activity is taking place and will issue a PCN if none is evident after the observation periods expire.