A number of disabled parking bays at Newry Leisure Centre are to become secure ticketed parking zones after Newry, Mourne and Down District Council secured Department for Communities funding.
And the move has been welcomed by Councillor Roisin Mulgrew.
“It is regrettable that many of our less abled members who regularly attend the Newry Leisure and swimming facilities in Newry arrive to find their designated parking has been filled by able-bodied drivers,” said the Sinn Fein representative.
“After extensive consultation with Disability Action NI and taking on board the anger and frustration of blue badge holders, the council applied for grant aid to address the issue.
“We have been successful and granted full funding of £30,ooo from the Department for Communities (DfC) to install a barrier and one-way system for 18 disabled parking spaces.”
Councillor Mulgrew added: “The system will work similarly to car parks within shopping centres. While it is free, users will have to show their blue badge at reception in order to validate their parking in a disabled parking zone.
“A further 19 disabled spaces will remain outside the secured zone, some of these will be beside the new secure zone and the remainder beside Jennings Park to be used for those wishing to watch football being played on the pitch.
“Work to the parking zone is due to start in the next two to three weeks and will hopefully be completed before the lesuire centre reopens”.