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Doherty wants 15 minute flexibility period for motorists issued with Fixed Penalty Notices

19 December, 2007

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty is lobbying for a 15 minute flexibility period to be introduced for motorists issued with 'Fixed Penalty Notices' when the operation of the NCP Services Ltd contract is reviewed in early 2008.

He said,

"On foot of a written question to DRD Minister Conor Murphy I have been told that the operation of the NCP contract for traffic enforcement and car-park management, which began on the 30th October 2006, will be subject to review early in 2008 and I have now written to the Minister asking that a number of issues of concern be addressed as part of this review.

"The main area of concern that has been repeatedly expressed to me by constituents is that of the inflexibility of NCP staff.

"For example, many motorists complain that they have been issued with Fixed Penalty Notices despite having been unintentionally delayed and having arrived at their vehicle only a minute or two after their pay to park ticket has expired and even though the said car-park was not even full.

"I have therefore asked the Minister to consider, as part of this contract review, the introduction of a 15 minute flexibility period whereby motorists would be able to purchase an additional ticket which would nullify their Fixed Penalty Notice.

"The issue of why towns west of the Bann, like Omagh and Strabane, have a disproportionately high number of Fixed Penalty Notices also needs to be addressed as part of this review. The view has been put forward that this is due less car parking infrastructure. However, if this is the case then it is important that Roads Service create a level playing field by invest in and increasing car-parking provision in these areas and I have also communicated this issue of importance to the Minister.

"The success of the NCP contract should be not be measured in terms of how many fixed penalty notices are handed out but rather in how much traffic flow through our cities and towns has been improved. The public perception is that NCP are more concerned about handing out fixed penalty notices rather than the latter and these important issues need to be addressed as part of this review. ENDS

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