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One-hour parking restriction too narrow for drivers to do what's needed and for traders to feel benefit

Nobody likes getting - or paying - a parking ticket. Somehow it feels like paying for something you never agreed to. Sometimes it is warranted, and okay, the guys are only doing a job; but, equally, sometimes it just feels so unfair.

When I moved to Stranmillis in Belfast 32 years ago there were no parking bays. There was a wonderful plethora of shops and a great community atmosphere. Parking was much easier.

No wonder the bays lie empty a lot. Only good parallel reverse parkers can use them and this relies on well-mannered motorists giving them a chance to back in on a very busy, narrow road.

The disabled bay is right beside the traffic lights, so how the disabled drivers manoeuvre in is a mystery. Add to this the half bus lane and you could say the road, transport-wise, is a shambles.

Despite the changes I still wish to support the remaining traders on my local high street. On the morning of the parking ticket I was supporting a new venture - a yoga studio.

Where I parked, I genuinely never saw the small notice stating only one hour allowed. As I settled into my final relaxation a parking attendant was pinning the dreaded notice to my car.

My point is this: the signs are way too small. One hour is useless; it only allows the visitor to get some cash, a small shop purchase, or maybe a coffee.

It does not cater for lunch, hair appointments, yoga classes, a walk through the Botanic Gardens or a visit to the local museum.

Two hours would be much more sensible.



Belfast Telegraph