A Larne taxi company has vowed to stand firm against parking fines which it claims were wrongly issued against two of its drivers.
AB Cabs was hit with two parking charge notices last Thursday. The firm is based on Dunluce Street, which was closed to traffic for over two weeks after high winds damaged a number of buildings in the area.
The disruption caused havoc for local businesses during what should be their busiest time of year, with some claiming their takings have plummeted.
Roberta Forsythe of AB Cabs told the Times: “Two of our cars were parked on double yellow lines outside the office. But the street was sealed off and inaccessible to traffic, so what harm was being caused?
“Businesses on Dunluce Street have struggled enough in recent weeks. The last thing we needed was to be handed two parking fines for no good reason whatsoever. Common-sense should have prevailed.
“I have already lodged an appeal against these fines and I will not be letting the matter drop. I will fight it all the way to court if I have to.”
East Antrim MLA Gordon Lyons added: “I have advised AB Cabs to challenge these parking charge notices. The role of traffic attendants is to ensure the flow of traffic, and as the street was closed to traffic there should not have been any issue.
“The traders have had a very difficult couple of weeks due to circumstances beyond their control, discretion should have been used in this instance.”
A TransportNI spokesperson said it was is not in a position to comment on the details of this incident “until further details were established”.
He added: “However, a road closure by a third party is not normally sufficient reason to suspend parking enforcement.
“Any driver who feels that they have been issued with a parking charge notice has the right to challenge it and present supporting evidence to enable a full investigation.
“In the meantime, drivers should not assume parking restrictions are invalid or suspended unless directed by the PSNI.”
Dunluce Street was finally reopened to traffic on Monday, after repairs were carried out to storm-damaged premises.