The police have given an assurance that they are taking action to address parking and road safety problems in the vicinity of Moira Train Station.
A senior PSNI officer gave the assurance after local woman Claire McLernon took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to highlight the issue by posting a picture of cars blocking the footpath along Station Road.
Speaking to the Ulster Star, she said Translink, the PSNI and TransportNI must take steps to address the ongoing problems at the site.
While acknowledging that Translink’s plan to increase the capacity of the park and ride will help the situation, Claire believes many drivers will still choose the convenience of parking along the road, unless the authorities enforce parking restrictions.
“The cars are completely blocking the footpath,” she said. “There is a real safety issue here. It’s the feeling of being in danger you get by being forced to walk on the road. It’s putting a lot of people off walking from Moira to the station.”
Claire, who works for sustainable transport charity Sustrans, added: “It’s not just the fault of the drivers, because I know the park and ride fills up very quickly and there’s nowhere else to park. But people need to be more considerate of those who need to use the footpath. There is no way someone pushing a pram or someone in a wheelchair could get past on the footpath.
“I know there is action being taken in the longer term, but in the short term there needs to be something done before someone gets hurt.”
PSNI Inspector Michael Gregg confirmed that police are working to address the issue of poorly parked vehicles causing an obstruction for pedestrians in the Station Road area.
“Local police officers have been out and about and have been putting leaflets on the windscreens of vehicles and offering advice to anyone who has parked their car in a dangerous position,” he explained.
“I would remind members of the public if you are parking in the area, please park with consideration to pedestrians and local residents, keep driveways and other access routes clear.
“Police will always work with the community around local issues and are keen to remind those parking that any illegal parking will be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Any vehicles found to be illegally parked or causing an obstruction to local residents, emergency vehicles or traffic may be removed at considerable expense to the owner, a Fixed Penalty Notice and penalty points may be given to the driver of the vehicle or the owner of the vehicle could be taken to court.
“Police will always work with the community to address local issues, so I would ask all road users to show consideration for others by making sure you park your vehicle leaving enough room for pedestrians, pram and wheelchair users to safely pass by on the footpath.”
Asked for an update on its plans to extend the park and ride facility at Moira, a spokesperson for Translink said: “We are examining a number of options which could lead to increased capacity of Moira Train Station Park and Ride.
“Translink has carried out a public consultation on the proposed project which received very positive responses from the public. Further progress will however depend on the ability to secure necessary land.”