Belfast Telegraph

Mass-going Newry pensioners 'annoyed' at parking fines

Traffic is often congested in the Dominic Street area. Credit: Newry SDLP
Traffic is often congested in the Dominic Street area. Credit: Newry SDLP
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

Several elderly pensioners have spoken of their annoyance after they were given parking tickets while at mass in Newry.

SDLP councillor Michael Savage said the parishioners were issued with parking notices while attending the weekly St Martin Novena at St Catherine's Dominican Chapel on Monday.

He said the pensioners insisted there was an informal agreement to relax the parking restrictions in the vicinity of the chapel during mass. However, the Department for Infrastructure disputed the claim and said such arrangements were not possible.

"They are annoyed that they are facing a heavy fine which is a big hit for a pensioner," Councillor Savage said.

“I would encourage those affected to appeal the tickets and point to the arrangement that appears to have been in place.”

He called for a consultation with residents and parishioners to come up with a traffic management solution to congestion in the Dominic Street area.

"The area is congested at the best of times and can be chaotic when services are being held in the Dominican so we need to really address this issue once and for all and come up with a traffic management solution in the area," Councillor Savage said.

“I know a one-way proposal was suggested previously and some residents were reluctant to go down that route but we need to do something and create lawful parking spaces in the area for residents and parishioners.

“I have asked for this issue to be raised at our next Newry DEA meeting to see if a consultation can be facilitated that involves all the local stakeholders.”

In a statement the Department for Infrastructure said: "The department is not aware of any agreements that may have existed in relation to parking enforcement during the St Martin Novena, and it is not possible for us to enter into any such agreements."

Michael Savage
Michael Savage

It said anyone who felt they had been ticketed incorrectly could challenge the decision.

"Regarding Traffic management, there is unrestricted car parking along one side of the street with restricted parking on the opposite side, which is to help with two - way traffic progression whilst taking into account the needs of local residents.

"The department has no plans to introduce further measures or provide additional car parking on Dominic Street.  Provision of off-street car parking would be a matter for the local council.”

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