A company which is paid to enforce traffic rules in Northern Ireland has said it is “disappointing” that one of its staff members was photographed parking in a restricted zone.
A reader noticed a trio of traffic attendants surrounding the vehicle during business hours on Great Victoria Street, Belfast, last Thursday, and took some images of the scene.
The street is one of the main thoroughfares in Belfast city centre.
All three of the men were wearing uniforms, and the reader said taxis were waved away while they were standing there.
According to a sign on the street next to the area where the car was parked, the zone is supposed to be used only for vehicles which are loading from 7am to 7pm (and then by only by taxis from 7pm to 7am).
It is marked out by yellow lines on the road.
The firm NSL Services has acknowledged that the car was in the charge of one of its employees.
It did not say exactly what the employee in question had been doing in the restricted zone, or whether they had faced any penalty.
The company enforces traffic restrictions on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure – formerly known as the Department for Regional Development (or DSD).
After being sent a copy of the photographs taken by the News Letter reader, a spokesperson for NSL – which is based in Westgate in London – said in a statement: “We are aware that a member of staff used a loading bay to temporarily park his vehicle when responding to a specific service support request in Belfast city centre on Thursday 23rd June.
“NSL recruits, trains and develops over 1,000 new employees every year and takes training and safety very seriously.
“Last year we helped over 1,800 of our staff to achieve real qualifications pertinent to their roles helping to ensure we deliver safe and compliant public services in highly regulated environments.
“With all the work and importance we place on safety, training and development, incidents like this are all the more disappointing when they do occur.
“Any contravention of a traffic order or parking restriction is unacceptable and no-one is exempt from the rules.”
Typically, a breach of parking rules brings a fine of £90 (reduced to £45 if paid within 14 days).