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Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Muir seeking Ministerial meeting over increasing parking chaos

North Down Alliance MLA Andrew Muir is requesting a meeting with the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon MLA after ever increasing issues concerning parking problems close to local Beaches and Beauty spots such as Helen’s Bay, Crawfordsburn and Seapark in Holywood. 

Local residents have been inundating the local Alliance MLA with complaints about vehicles parked on double yellow lines, obstructing driveways and pavement parking blocking passage by pedestrians. 

Concerns have also been expressed about a seemingly large beach party on Saturday 6 March in Helen’s Bay with swimmers experiencing lumps of burnt wood and charcoal the following morning plus broken bottles and litter on the beach. 

Commenting on the issue, Andrew Muir MLA stated “As Northern Ireland emerges from Winter into Spring with weather improving and more people seeking to exercise and enjoy the outdoors in the context of COVID-19 an increase in visitors is being experienced at many Beaches and Beauty Spots. 

Unfortunately, whilst the vast majority people are considerate of others, some motorists are causing misery for local residents abandoning cars regardless of the impact upon others with parking restrictions ignored, driveways blocked and pedestrians pushed onto the road as a result of pavement parking. 

There’s real frustration from local residents at the lack of enforcement both by the Department for Infrastructure and Police which I have previously raised in formal correspondence to the Infrastructure Minister but without success hence why I feel the real and urgent need to meet. At my meeting with the Minister I hope to outline the range of issues and seek better attention by red coat parking attendants to problem areas in the context of the woefully low number of tickets issued in recent times. 

I met with the local Police Commander on Thursday 4 March with my Alliance colleagues Dr Stephen Farry MP, Councillors Gillian Greer and Connie Egan and, whilst promises of increased action to deal with parking obstructing driveways and pavements are welcome there’s a real need for this to be matched with action and better and faster responses to issues, such as the events on Saturday night.” 

Concluding, Andrew Muir MLA stated “I have also raised concerns with the Council concerning areas under their control, the Environment Minister with regards to Crawfordsburn Country Park and the Infrastructure Minister concerning Bus and Rail services. I am presently seeking a follow-up meeting with Translink to explore what more can be done to stop problem whereby hundreds are conveyed on hot summer days to areas such as Helen’s Bay with resulting problems throughout the day and into the night as people seek to return home. 

2020 was a year associated with a number of high profile problems for local people as a result of the influx of visitors. 2021 cannot be like ground hog day, things must change via a combination of better personal responsibility and improved response from statutory bodies”.

Statistics concerning number of Parking Tickets previously issued at http://www.andrewmuir.net/2020/09/alliance-representatives-call-for.html