Appeal for leniency from traffic wardens

Lisburn Councillor Pat Catney has appealed for '˜greater commonsense' to be used by traffic wardens who are issuing parking tickets in the city centre.

Mr Catney was speaking after a number of incidents in the city in recent weeks, one of whichit was claimed, saw a partially-sighted lady receive a parking fine because, despite paying for the time and parking legally, she had accidentally placed the parking ticket upside down on her windscreen.

In another incident a parking ticket was issued outside Seymour Dougans on Chapel Hill after a salesman, who was visiting the store, ran a few minutes over his allotted time.

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Mr Catney said parking was a major issue for Lisburn and that the overly strict policy of traffic wardens was having an adverse impact on local businesses and was deterring people from visiting the city.

“It is ridiculous that tickets are being issued for minor reasons,” said Mr Catney. “There needs to be a level of commonsense and some leniency when it comes to the issuing of tickets,

“On one hand there are people who genuinely tried to do the right thing and get their ticket and they are fined for being a couple of minutes over their time or having their ticket the wrong way up. And on the other hand, there are people who park illegally and just abandon their cars. There is a car in Chapel Hill that has been parked for weeks and no-one has claimed ownership of it.

“Parking has been a major problem in Lisburn and if action isn’t taken the situation will only get worse.

“I would urge traffic wardens to use a little discretion when issuing parking tickets. Show some leniency and perhaps more visitors and businesses will be attracted to the city centre.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Regional Development said traffic wardens did have the descretion not to issue a Parking Charge Notice until ten minutes after the time displayed. However, she did confirm that if a motorist did not display their ticket correctly and the time was not clearly visable, they could be issued with a fine.

“Anyone who disputes the issuing of a fine should contact us to appeal,” she added.