A ‘disproportionate’ traffic warden blitz, which saw four traffic wardens targeting one of the quietest villages in Tyrone, was a mistake according to a government minister.
DUP peer Maurice Morrow had raised fears that the Department of Regional Development was shifting attention away from contentious areas in the local district such as Coalisland, which hasn’t had any parking tickets issued in four years.
Residents and business people in the normally sleepy Clogher Valley village were shocked last month to see the parking ticket task force patrolling the town’s single main street on a quiet Wednesday afternoon.
Last week, the issue was raised at the Northern Ireland Assembly, with the Minister for Regional Development admitting that the traffic wardens had been ‘inadvertently assigned’ to Fivemiletown. Normally two warden patrols are assigned to the village on one or two occasions a week, said Minister Danny Kennedy.
The Fermanagh-South Tyrone MLA also revealed that no parking tickets had been issued in Coalisland for the fourth year in a row.
At the time, a Regional Development spokesperson said previous attempts to provide additional waiting restrictions in the town had been unacceptable to councillors, traders and members of the Coalisland Regeneration Partnership, but stressed that they were working to develop a scheme which would be embraced by all agencies.
Lord Morrow said: “I have been alerted to the deployment of four traffic wardens in Fivemiletown on the morning of Wednesday 4th March, and must express my concerns as to why this was deemed necessary.
“It is difficult to understand why the small area of Fivemiletown warrants four traffic wardens at any time, never mind midweek when traffic volume would be limited.
“Once again it would appear the complement of traffic wardens in Tyrone is being concentrated in non-contentious areas, whilst other such as Coalisland remain enforcement free.”