A COMMUNITY has voiced its dissatisfaction with the handling of a long-running traffic problem caused by a weekly livestock mart which, they claim, is putting the lives of local pedestrians at risk.
Every weekend, when traders and buyers arrive for the Clogher Livestock Market, vehicles and trailers line the roadsides, some mounting verges and ignoring footpaths to attain a convenient parking space.
Local people say this same problem has been going on for years virtually unaddressed, despite numerous complaints being lodged with both the PSNI and the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).
In the most recent flare-up, residents of Primrose Hill – a Clogher housing development routinely blighted by the Mart traffic – claimed that, by parking on paths and verges, the mart goers responsible are forcing pedestrians to walk on the road, thereby endangering local lives.
Residents wrote to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and the PSNI at the end of last week.
“Farmers attending the weekly mart ignore restricted parking arrangements, and abandon their vehicles and trailers on grass verges, and totally block footpaths so that it is impossible for a pedestrian to pass,” their letter stated.
They went on to say that, despite years of their best efforts to find a mutually beneficial remedy, residents have been saddened that ‘there has been absolutely no progress’.
“The traffic attendants attend very infrequently, probably due to the fact that they have been physically and verbally threatened at Clogher Livestock Market.
“We beg you to sort this out before someone is injured or potentially killed.”
Speaking with the TyroneHerald, Deborah Erksine, DUP MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, said, “This is issue is very serious, and something must be done.
“Visibility around this area in the winter is really poor; many children live here, and the threat of someone being hurt is very real.
“This is not a criticism of the mart or those who attend it, this is how they make a living, but I think some people would do well to put themselves in the shoes of residents and have a little more consideration,” said Mrs Erksine.
“I am happy to work with everyone concerned to solve this problem – I’ve contacted DfI, I’ve spoken with
residents and I’ll engage with the mart.”
When asked about the residents’ concerns, Inspector McNeill of the PSNI said, “We have been engaging with representatives from the mart to ease parking issues.
“We would remind those attending the mart, if you are parking in the area, please park with consideration to local residents, and keep drive ways, footpaths and other access routes clear.
“Police will always work with the community around local issues and are keen to issue a reminder that any illegal parking will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.”
A DfI spokesperson seemed to pass responsibility for the issue on to the police.
They said, “Traffic Attendants (TAs) issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) when a vehicle is observed to be contravening the legislative restrictions marked on the carriageway.
“In the absence of marked legislative restrictions, TAs are unable to carry out enforcement, as is the case in Primrose Hill, with the exception of the 15m corner restrictions at the junction with Station Road. TAs do enforce the restrictions in the vicinity of Clogher Livestock Market.
“Inconsiderate parking causing an obstruction, such as to a driveway, is an offence that can be brought to the attention of the PSNI on their non-emergency number 101, as they have the authority to take enforcement action and issue Fixed Penalty Notices.”
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