Friday, 25 January 2013

Ballycastle - Against All Reason

Minister for Regional Development
Danny Kennedy


In an age of austerity, traders and their staff need all the custom they can get. The new Ballycastle Heritage Trail has been funded by the Department for Social Development, the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Moyle District Council.

Minister McCausland: "This heritage trail is a novel and fun way to encourage people to explore the town centre, and bringing more people into the town centre should have a positive impact on the local economy."

The introduction of charging in the car-park off Ann Street near the town centre, on the other hand, encourages shoppers to take their business elsewhere.

Going From Bad To Worse

20p per hour is not an exorbitant charge, it's a disincentive, but the £90 penalty** is punitive.

ONLY £45
That could be a day's wages
It's still 225 cars parked for 1 hr in Ann Street car-park

Dearth of shoppers

A quick vox pop elicited the following tales of woe:

1. A shop assistant put £1.20 in the machine to cover her shift but failed to note that the £1 coin had been rejected so the sticker on the car screen was only valid for one hour. Imagine the shock when, on return, there was a £90 fixed penalty notice in place. That's a lot of hours down the drain if you're on or close to the minimum wage.

2. A different shop assistant has also had problems with coin acceptance and now comes to work early in case alternative coins have to be obtained from place of work.

3. A shopper who is a regular user of the car park left the previous day's ticket in place and put the new ticket on a different part of the windscreen. The parking attendant failed to spot the current ticket and attached a £90 penalty notice. In this case the shopper was able to prove his ticket purchase.


Other such tales can be added to this list by sending them to