Newry car park fines continue to cause confusion and anger
Following a recent ‘Letters to the Editor’ on Newry Times, during which local woman Marie-Claire Fitzpatrick brought the issue of parking fines at the Merchants Quay Retail Park into question, the issue is now being brought to the attention of the council via local Sinn Fein councillor Valerie Harte.
Reacting to a spate of parking fines recently, Harte has hit out at what she described as the ‘confusion’ around car parks in the centre of the city.
She was particularly critical of the situation which exists in the car parks which are situated within the confines of the Old Creamery site.
Speaking to Newry Times about the issue, Councillor Harte commented, “I have been contacted by several irate customers who have recently been issued with parking tickets in the car park outside the B&M store.
“After studying the layout and determining who was responsible for which car park I was amazed to discover that shoppers who park there are being penalized for crossing the road to shop in Pound Stretcher or Dunnes Homeware shop.
“The owner of these car parks, – UKPC – are saying that the parking provided outside their shops are solely for their customers.
“I believe that the owners of these parks and the shop keepers need to come together to reach some arrangement. It is ludicrous that shoppers are finding themselves in this situation on a daily basis.
Harte continued, “It is an absolute disgrace that at a time when we are trying to encourage shoppers into the city to spend money they are being targeted in this way.
“If this situation continues then the larger out of town shops with free car parking available are going to attract would be shoppers which will eventually suck the commercial life out of the city shops.
“I am appealing to the owners of the car parks to think again and try to encourage people into Newry instead of forcing them to shop further away. Newry and Mourne Council has a huge role to play and I will be bringing this issue up at the earliest opportunity with council officials.”
Harte also raised questions around the signage and the address used by the company who are issuing the tickets. “I recently dealt with a constituent who had stayed in one of the car parks for slightly over two hours and she was issued with a £60 fine, this despite clear signage stating that the limit was three hours.
“On the parking ticket the location of the car park was “Merchant Quay Retail Park”, I have checked with council and as far as they are aware the car park is situated within the Old Creamery Retail Park.
She added, “I can fully understand the anger amongst shoppers and I am calling for the people responsible to deal with this issue as soon as possible and to clear up the confusion.”
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