Plea to rein in ‘overzealous’ traffic wardens as NI gets set to re-enforce parking fines

A retail group has appealed to the authorities not to allow a return of “overzealous” traffic wardens, after it was revealed that the government is planning to start enforcing parking fines once again.

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon
Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of lobby group Retail NI, was reacting to the Department for Infrastructure, which announced late this afternoon that parking enforcement teams will be back on the streets from Monday, June 22.

The minister in charge, the SDLP’s Nichola Mallon, said for the first seven days wardens will only be issuing warnings.

Then from Monday, June 29, they will start to hand out tickets.

Charging at Park and Ride sites will also re-commence from June 29.

Enforcement of bus lanes will also commence from June 29 too.

Minister Mallon said: “I know that these decisions may not be popular for some, but I have carefully considered the needs of all those using our roads before making my decision.

“As shops reopen, we are seeing an increase in irresponsible parking and I would urge car users to park responsibly at all times and play their part as we all move towards returning to the new normal.”

Mr Roberts said: “While we accept that parking and enforcement needed to return at some point, what doesn’t need to return is the overzealous approach of the parking enforcement officers in handing out excessive numbers of penalty charge notices.

“Our town and city centres are at a very delicate early stage of recovery and the last thing they need is traffic wardens going over the top with tickets for shoppers who use their cars.

“The only winners from this are the large out-of-town supermarkets, which have free car parking and no traffic attendants.”

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