Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Time for a little leeway over city car parking

I thought I was being the 'good citizen' on Saturday, June 23 when I went shopping in Belfast (my home city). I wanted to respond to the Backin' Belfast campaign.

Traffic was light and I found it very easy to get a parking space and I bought two hours' worth of on-street parking behind the City Hall taking me up to 1530hrs.

I supported local business by buying lunch with the family, a new suit and other clothes. There seemed to be very few people around.

There were more police in the city than shoppers due to protesters!

I got a bit delayed and returned to the car just as a traffic warden was issuing a ticket at 1549, admittedly I was 19 minutes late.

In the present context is it not time Belfast City Council exercised a little discretion regarding ticket offences?

Would it help the Backin' Belfast campaign if a tiny bit of grace was evident?

Would it be appropriate to ask BCC to give shoppers, who are also motorists, a break from zealous and uber-efficient traffic wardens?

Is there any room for a little bit of common sense when businesses are struggling and a considerable amount of money has been spent to tempt shoppers back into the city?

I'm fed up with them. There's a debate to be had regarding city centre shopping versus out of town 'under one roof' shopping. That day my mind was made up.

Robert Smyth

Belfast

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