Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)
Disabled drivers set to be charged for parking at County Antrim tourist attraction
Disabled motorists are to be charged to park at Carnfunnock Country Park outside Larne.
The decision was taken behind closed doors at a meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Policy and Resources Committee last month.
Councillors agreed that Blue Badge holders should pay the usual parking charge at Carnfunnock of £4 at peak times and £1 off-peak. Previously, there has been no charge for disabled drivers.
The proposal was put forward by Mid and East Antrim Mayor Councillor William McCaughey and seconded by Larne Lough Ulster Unionist Councillor Keith Turner.
Larne Lough Alliance Councillor Danny Donnelly asked for his opposition to the decision to be recorded.
Committee members were told there was a delay in bringing the matter forward due to consideration of concessionary fees and charges in other council areas and “potential for supervision of the barrier” at Carnfunnock.
Daily parking charges at Portglenone Forest which is also located in Mid and East Antrim are £4 for a car; £11 for a minibus; £35, coach and £2.50, motorbike. At Glenariff Forest Park, parking costs £5 for a car; £13 for a minibus; £35, coach and £2.50, motorbike. There are no concessions for Blue Badge holders.
Previously, Braid TUV Councillor Brian Collins called for report to be brought before committee members early in 2022 to enable them to “give their views in respect of uniformity of the pricing structure of carparks” across Mid and East Antrim.
This issue was raised behind closed doors by party colleague Deputy Mayor TUV Councillor Matthew Armstrong who called for parking fees across the borough to be examined to “establish consistency”.