Plea to scrap car parking charges

Traffic wardens in Moore's Lane car park
Traffic wardens in Moore's Lane car park

A local trader has called on the new Super Council to scrap car parking charges and slammed the actions of some ‘over zealous’ traffic wardens.

Nigel Carson of McKerr’s in Union St claimed the actions of some wardens could potentially put some traders out of business.

He was particularly scathing of wardens at Moore’s Lane car park.

Mr Carson said he spotted three traffic wardens in one day at around 11.45am. Later he spotted two wardens one of whom spoke to an elderly man.

Mr Carson revealed that the elderly man explained he was going across to shop and claimed one of wardens told him not to worry about it if he was only going to be a minute.

“He went back over to his car after a few minutes and the other warden was starting to book him,” said Mr Carson who added that it appeared the two traffic wardens were having an argument with the elderly man.

“The elderly man was confused at the initial instructions and was a bit annoyed and the traffic ticket was withdrawn as the two wardens were arguing among themselves. That was noon,” said Mr Carson.

And the store manager claimed that the previous Friday a traffic warden reduced a heavily pregnant woman with a toddler to tears after a parking issue in the same car park. That was around 4.45pm.

“On Saturday morning they seem to be in that car park regularly. They are standing watching. They are not supposed to be there more than once an hour. Surely their remit is to cover the whole town.

“Our numbers are down. It is driving trade down. Our figures are down since that became a paid for car park,” said Mr Carson.

He called for the new council to scrap pay for car parks

“We have been trying to run a long established business and this has been very detrimental to our business. It’s putting customers off and driving customers away.

“That girl that was done the other day, is she going to come back in a hurry?

There are other places like round by the church that are traffic blackspots and not one traffic warden.

“We are fighting against Rushmere and this is not helping any. It is not good for the town centre.”

Dr Belinda Webb-Blofeld of NSL which runs the traffic wardens for councils across Northern Ireland said: “We have received no complaints from members of the public in Lurgan in relation to Moores Lane Car Park, nor have we received any incidents filed from our TAs (Traffic Attendants). With regards to numbers of TAs visiting this car park, I can confirm that two TAs visited twice on 24th April and 27th April, and that on both occasions a trainee in a high-visibility vest was also in attendance. Our TAs are trained to high standards and are expected to conduct themselves professionally, and we would ask that, where the public experiences otherwise to let us know directly so that we can investigate.”