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NCP contract - profits before service

21 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson, Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said that while the transfer of responsibility for parking enforcement away from the PSNI is welcome that the awarding of the contract to National Car Parks Ltd (NCP) will lead to profits before service.

Mr McCartney said:

"Where there is a history of privatisation there is a history of profiteering and putting profits before services. One only has to look at the private contracts awarded to run car parks at some of our hospitals or the extortionate costs of car parking at our airports to recognise that those involved in this sector are making huge profits.

"While Sinn Féin welcome the removal of responsibility for enforcing parking restriction from the PSNI, we believe that it would have been far more sensible to look at a different solution possibly through a not-for-profit organisation that can re-invest profits in a way that benefits us all.

"The indication of the levels of proposed parking fines announced today, with possible costs of up to £165 only reinforces the concern that this will be a licence to print money for NCP and that their first response will be to lift cars off the streets in order to maximise profits.

"We do not need contract payments based on the numbers of tickets issued, which will result in zealous ticketing. In Britain in 2004 45% of appeals made by motorists to the independent parking adjudicators were allowed.

"NCP is the biggest British company in parking services, being both the largest commercial car park operator, the leading provider of on-street enforcement and the industry leader in airport parking. We have to ask whether this contract is in the best interests of people here or of greater benefit to NCP that has grown into a huge British corporation." ENDS

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