Newry & Armagh MLA Conor Murphy has said that the long standing issues of Parking in the locality of the Southern Region College and the impact on local residents, especially in the locality of the John Martin Gardens, John Martin Street,James Connolly and Michael Mallin Parks area of the City, had been further compounded by the closure of the old Sports Centre Car Park.

Bollards outside the SRC
Bollards outside the SRC

The MLA was commenting after he and his colleague Mickey Brady MP had met with the Southern Regional College to discuss the situation.

The Sinn Féin elected representative explained,

"Residents living in the vicinity have voiced their concerns about parking in their local area. The issue of all day and night time commuter parking is one faced by many communities.The situation here has been compounded by the closing of the old Sports Centre Car Park as it would have at times been able to accomadate some of those attending the College or other nearby businesses seeking parking.

Many residents complain of facing problems of others parking outside their homes and using their areas as a car park on a daily basis. As well as the inconvenience caused it can also cause problems for emergency services such as ambulances when driveways are blocked.Residents have also been on the end of verbal abuse when they've challanged motorist parking outside their homes. This is unacceptable".

He continued,

"Myself and Mickey Brady recently met the Regional College Estates manager to discuss these concerns and the overall parking issue in general. The meeting was benifical and the College stated that they were in consultation with the Council to look at the possibility of opening the old Sports Centre Car Park for the Regional Colleges staff and students. The College is  also exploring some short term measures to increase their own parking capacity.The Estates Officer also assured us that the unsightly concrete bollards recently erected at the College enterance would be removed and replaced with stainless steel barriers".

The MLA concluded "Hopefully working together we may be able to help alleviate some of the problems faced, in the meantime I would ask all to be mindful of local residents concerns"