Closure of Carrick Harbour car park sparks fresh debate

Advice for motorists at the harbour car park.
Advice for motorists at the harbour car park.

Motorists are being advised Carrickfergus Harbour car park will be unavailable to them this month due to a funfair.

The advice comes from Mid and East Antrim Council, which faced criticism after temporary closure signs were mounted at the busy location this week.

Claiming the funfair visit “makes £14,000 in rent for council”, Knockagh election candidate and former Town Centre Partnership chairman Noel Williams said: “The large free car park we have in Carrick is one of our greatest assets in attracting shoppers and enterprises to the town. Businesses struggling in Carrickfergus are fed up with the car park being out of use, in fact, funfair events now use the facility for around two months every year.

“To add insult to injury, despite agreement to do so last year, the council has neglected to put sufficient signage up to warn drivers of the car park closure. In fact, it is only when you go to enter the car park you see a sign indicating its closure and are forced to find an alternative place to park.

“It is time the council found a solution to this issue, the funfair should be moved to an empty field or space, or free additional parking must be found.”

In response, a council spokesperson said: “This funfair event will drive footfall and increase visitors from outside the borough to enjoy the many fantastic shops and eateries in Carrickfergus.

“Council signage was erected as soon as the event was fully confirmed to go ahead. This funfair will showcase the town and our borough to a large number of visitors over the next few weeks.

“We appreciate the co-operation of the regular users of this car park and would encourage them to use the other car parks around the town where five hours cost only £1.”