Hounded out of Coalisland

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hounded out of Coalisland thumbnailA traffic attendant spotted in Coalisland.

THERE are fears Traffic Wardens are being hounded out of Coalisland.

The brief introduction of a traffic attendant to the streets of the town has been branded as little more than a "token gesture" by a prominent MLA.

DUP representative Maurice Morrow also expressed concern about an "element of fear or threat" that exists in Coalisland.

The Department of Infrastructure confirmed that the traffic attendant spent just 30 minutes in the town before leaving and did not issue any tickets.

When quizzed on claims that the attendant was hounded out of the town by individuals, a spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure failed to deny the claim, instead confirming that staff safety is of is critical to all operations.

"The ongoing safety of traffic attendants is paramount and is monitored on an ongoing basis," said the spokesperson.

"A review of the effectiveness and efficiency of this deployment will be carried out and a decision will be taken on whether or not to continue with deployment."

Reflecting on this comment, Maurice Morrow, who has long campaigned for an attendant to be introduced in the town, welcomed the move but questioned the need to keep it under review.

"I find the department's comment bizarre, it appears that the introduction of this traffic attendant is something of a token gesture," he said.

"I am also perturbed that the department felt it necessary to draw particular attention to the on going safety of traffic attendants which suggests to me that there is an element of fear or threat existing in Coalisland, and that needs to be appropriately and urgently addressed.

"Having been so long without traffic enforcement it is understandable a degree of comfort has been allowed to develop in which parking infringements were the norm.

"This is a selfish, disrespectful approach to others in the community and mind-sets need to readjust.

"The mixed message of parking infringements only being penalised in some areas and not all, mist be eradicated."

Earlier this year it was revealed that while 77,000 parking enforcement notices were issued across Northern Ireland in 2015, not one had been handed out in Coalisland despite towns of a similar size across the Province receiving dozens of parking tickets.


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