THE news that there hasn't been a single traffic warden on patrol in Coalisland in seven years will have made for very annoying reading for many people who live in Belfast and who own businesses in the city.
The proliferation of 'redcoats' in certain parts of the city has been an issue of concern for many years now.
This is especially the case on major arterial shopping routes, such as the Lisburn Road.
Traders' representatives in the Lisburn Road Business Association have repeatedly highlighted their concerns in this regard.
While the side-streets of this major shopping route are filled up with cars belonging to residents, or those people who get there early enough in the morning to grab a parking space, people parking outside the shops and businesses to go in to them run the risk of being ticketed by the redcoats.
This has the obvious effect of making people reluctant to shop on the Lisburn Road and other major arterial routes, which, in turn, has an effect on the sustainability of businesses.
The time has come for the Minister of Regional Development, Danny Kennedy, and his officials to look seriously at the extent of parking restrictions that apply on major shopping routes, such as the Lisburn Road.
I hope his department will ease these restrictions and give our traders a much-needed boost.
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast