Anderson hits out at DRD’s ‘Dick Turpin’ approach

DUP MLA Sydney Anderson has asked for a clarification on the rights of drivers who overpay for their parking.

The Upper Bann representative has tabled a written question to DRD Minister Danny Kennedy and queried what he described as the department’s ‘Dick Turpin’ approach to raising revenue through car parking charges.

“One of the things that has angered many people about the new increased car park charging regime in Banbridge is the fact that the pay and display machines do not give change,” said Mr Anderson.

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“This means that many people will simply end up paying for parking time that they didn’t want and don’t require.

“The nonsense of this arrangement has already been highlighted publicly by my Assembly colleague Stephen Moutray who correctly pointed out that this situation exists even though there are pay and display machines available on the market that do give change. It is not that the Dept cannot use them, it is rather that it will not use them.

“I have now tabled a question at the NI Assembly asking for official clarification of the rights of consumers to claim back the change that has been withheld from by a pay and display car park machines.

“I have no doubt that the answer, when it comes, will simply brush off the consumer and indicate that as far as DRD are concerned they have no right of redress. But it simply isn’t good enough that motorists in Banbridge are to have these additional costs forced on them and that in addition they are to be ripped off when they do put money into one of the pay and display machines. Motorists are not there to simply have their pockets picked. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask!”

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A 40 pence per hour will be introduced from this month in the Downshire Place North, Townsend Street and Bridge Street East car parks in Banbridge.

Mr Anderson’s question reads: “To ask the Minister for Regional Development to detail the legal rights of a motorist who overpays for car parking, for a desired period time at a pay and display machine, to claim back the amount of overpayment.”