HC Deb 16 January 1998 vol 304 cc328-9W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many penalty tickets have been issued and what was the amount paid in relation to those tickets in respect of the Bangor Market parking area now suspended; and what steps her Department is taking to cancel outstanding proceedings and return monies to those who have paid penalties and fines; [22803]

(2) what assessment her Department made of the effect on numbers using public transport to travel to work in Belfast of the introduction of parking charges in Bangor Market; and if she will make a statement. [22804]

Mr. Paul Murphy

Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Roads Service under its chief executive, Mr. W.J. McCoubrey. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from G.P. Fraser to Mr. Robert McCartney, dated 14 January 1998: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked the Chief Executive to respond to your recently tabled Parliamentary Questions in connection with the introduction of car parking charges at the Castle Street and Castle Square (Bangor Market) car parks in Bangor, In his absence, I am replying. Roads Service fully appreciates the need to encourage increased use of public transport and when car parking charges were introduced in the above-mentioned car parks 123 spaces remained free of charge (in the Castle Square car park) for use by all-day parkers. In addition, there are 270 free spaces available in 2 other car parks close to the bus and railway stations. This number is considered adequate to cater for the volume of commuter parking. There is no evidence to suggest that the number of commuters using public transport to travel to Belfast was affected when these charges were in place. During the period the charges were in place, 1,538 notices were issued in respect of unpaid charges, 792 of which were returned by customers enclosing the appropriate payment. These amounted to a total of £409. No penalty enforcement action is proposed as regard those who have failed to respond to the notices. I hope you find this information helpful.