COUNCILLORS have moved to avert a repeat of the fiasco that surrounded the introduction of Sunday car parking charges in the run up to Christmas 2017.
When charges were introduced last year, motorists complained they had no idea tariffs were in force at Abbey Street and the Mall pay-and-display car parks in Coleraine and, as a result, dozens are left facing fines.
The resulting social media storm descended into a vicious war of words between councillors and even a walk out from the council chamber by UUP members
This year controversy looks likely to be avoided after the Environment Committee last week voted against imposing Christmas tariffs.
The decision came despite suggestions traders were in favour of charges to encourage a turnover of shoppers and discourage people from obstructing bays and disabled spaces.
Councillors heard a total revenue of £3605 was collected at the two car parks last year, though the likely cost of deploying parking attendants was around £1200.
Committee Chair John Finlay said the council would be “very wise” not to charge this year.
*For more on this, see this week's Coleraine Chronicle.