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Murphy announcement on Free Residents Parking Scheme welcomed

21 October, 2008 - by Alex Maskey, Fra McCann

Today's announcement by Sinn Féin Minister for Transport, Conor Murphy MP declaring that he intends introducing free residents parking schemes in five areas of Belfast has been welcomed by local Sinn Fein representatives Fra McCann MLA and Alex Maskey MLA.

The five areas that will benefit from the Minister's announcement include Barrack Street, Donegall Pass, Sandy Row, The Markets (west of Cromac Street) and Brown's Square.

Speaking after meeting the Minister at Stormont on the issue today, Fra McCann said:

"For many years the residents of Barrack Street and the other areas have been plagued by all-day commuter parking. The Minister set about engaging with the people in an attempt to resolve this problem and has kept that commitment."

Before the local institutions were restored British Direct rule Minister David Cairns had proposed a scheme charging residents £80 per permit which locals rejected as too high a cost and not a problem of their making - a position which Sinn Fein have supported.

Alex Maskey stated,

"In the context of the current financial burden on households the Minister has recognised what affect such a cost would have upon families and communities like the Market and Donegall Pass.

"After meeting with local people Conor Murphy maintained that he would not impose any scheme which did not have community support. Today's announcement will be gladly welcomed by those most heavily burdened by all-day commuter parking across the city.

"The Department for Regional Development will further consult with residents on the specific operation of proposed scheme in the five districts of the city considered. The new Residents Car Parking Schemes will introduce a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) and parking in an area will require the display of a permit." CRÍOCH

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