East Belfast residents raise Kingspan parking woes, Ulster Rugby trying to address problem

Police have been urged to clampdown on ‘antisocial’ parking by Ulster Rugby fans attending matches at the Kingspan stadium.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:36 pm
An Ulster Rugby spokesperson said they are disappointed that a number of spectators continue to park illegally

At a recent meeting of Belfast City Council several councillors representing East Belfast brought up the issue of fans parking in areas around the the rugby stadium on Mount Merrion Avenue.

PUP Councillor John Kyle said: “Every time there is a home match at Kingspan stadium there is an enormous amount of illegal or antisocial parking in the Cregagh estate.

“It is notable that the antisocial parking which takes place on footpaths, across driveways and on corners, occurs in the Cregagh estate, not in the middle class areas such as Onslow Parade and Ravenhill Park and other areas.

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“It is the Cregagh estate that has to suffer the brunt of this antisocial parking. Cars and big SUVs are parked everywhere there is a space.

“We need to highlight this issue, we need to be persistent in our discussions with Ulster Rugby, and the PSNI need to take it more seriously. If these cars were ticketed for illegal parking, not all but some of them would cease.”

Alliance representative Councillor Michael Long said: “It is unfortunate that parking continues to be a problem, but the police are very much aware of it, and I think they do their best in difficult circumstances.”

DUP Alderman Tommy Sandford, who lives in the area, told the chamber: “This has got to stop sometime. We are getting people who don’t just park, they abandon their cars.”

Lisnasharragh SDLP Councillor Seamas de Faoite said that the issue was not confined to the Cregagh estate: “While it is particularly bad in the Cregagh, it is bad in the associated streets around Onslow, Haddington, Ardenlee and everywhere else. And that issue is multiplying as the games get bigger.”

A spokesperson for Ulster Rugby said: “Through a long-standing and ongoing programme of stakeholder engagement, Ulster Rugby continues to proactively address the parking issues faced by local residents on match nights.

“We are disappointed that a number of spectators continue to park illegally, or without consideration for residents, and we urge all of those attending Kingspan Stadium to show respect when choosing where to park, and to make use of public transport including Translink’s Rugby Special bus and free Park & Ride services in operation for every game.

“Ulster Rugby would like to thank the Ravenhill Residents’ Association and the Cregagh Community Association, as well as the PSNI and Belfast City Council, for their involvement in our Kingspan Stadium Community Committee which, since its formation in 2017, has met regularly to discuss concerns, and seek solutions, around this issue.

“In the season ahead, Ulster Rugby will continue to work closely with the PSNI to address illegal parking, and we encourage anyone facing this on a match night to ring 101 to report.”

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