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Parking

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many residents’ parking schemes are under consideration by the Department for Regional Development in each Northern Ireland council area. (106916)

The Chief Executive of Roads Service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has written to the hon. Gentleman in response to this question.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated 4 December 2006:

You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question regarding how many residents parking schemes are under consideration by the Department for Regional Development in each Northern Ireland council area. As this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Roads Service, I have been asked to reply.

By way of background, I should explain that the Department took powers in the Road Traffic Regulation (NI) Order 1997 to permit the introduction of residents’ parking schemes in Northern Ireland. However, one of the key success factors for residents’ parking schemes is effective enforcement. At that time, the Police Service of Northern Ireland was responsible for the enforcement of parking restrictions, but indicated that they could not provide resources to carry out this enforcement. No schemes have therefore been implemented to date.

You will be aware that, on 30 October 2006 parking offences were decriminalised and Roads Service took over responsibility for the enforcement of parking restrictions. On 17 November 2006 we launched a draft policy consultation on residents’ parking, which will end on 9 February 2007.

While we have received a number of enquiries in relation to residents’ parking schemes, none of these will be considered in detail until the consultation has been completed and a policy developed. However, I can advise that following publication of the residents’ parking policy, it is intended that the first residents’ parking schemes will be implemented towards the end of next year.