Council set to pilot ‘Pay On Foot’ car park

Union Place car park, Cookstown. Pic by Google
Union Place car park, Cookstown. Pic by Google

A ‘pay on foot’ model is set to be introduced in one off-street car park in Magherafelt and will be used to determine if the same model is to be applied to other areas across Mid-Ulster.

The pilot scheme is being introduced ahead of any final decision by Mid Ulster District Council on the future strategy for its off-street car parking.

In another move the cost of parking is to be ‘increased’ for those staying longer, moving to £1 for three hours instead of the current £1 for a five hour stay. This will be applied from June 1, 2018, in those off-street car parks which are currently charged.

The Council’s Environment Committee recommended on Tuesday last that the pilot scheme, which will see Central Car Park in Magherafelt move from ‘pay and display’ to ‘pay on foot’, where the first two hours of parking are free. After two hours, the standard tariff of 40p per hour, which has not risen in the last six years, will apply.

‘Pay on foot’, where users pay when they return to their vehicle and so are only charged for the length of time they have actually parked, is considered a more user-friendly mechanism, a council spokesperson said.

How the pilot scheme works, its cost and income implications, will determine if the same model is applied to other off-street car parks in Cookstown, Dungannon and Magherafelt.

The Council will consider the recommendations at its meeting on April 26.