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Off-street and on-street parking

Management of car parking can be a key factor in a successful transportation policy. An effective parking policy can discourage all-day parking and encourage people to leave the car behind and use public transport.

Off-street car parks

Roads Service is responsible for:

  • 367 off-street car parks with 31,240 spaces
  • one multi-storey car park containing 840 spaces

In car parks where charges apply tariffs are normally reviewed annually with an objective of recovering the majority of costs associated with the operation and maintenance of car parks. However, no further increases will be applied before end March 2015.

Motorcycles are permitted to park free of charge in all car parks; however they must be parked wholly with in a bay where such is marked out. Trailers are not permitted in Roads Service car parks.

Roads Service ensures motorists receive a good quality of service including good directional signage, clear tariff displays and rapid repair of faulty pay and display machines.

On-street car parking

Whilst the majority of on-street parking in Northern Ireland is free, there are however 3 Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) where on-street charges apply (see link for tariffs), they are:

  • Belfast has approximately 1,660 on-street parking spaces
  • Lisburn has approximately 240 on-street parking spaces
  • Newry has approximately 440 on-street parking spaces

Whether using pay and display machines in a charged car park or CPZ, you must ensure that the ticket you buy is sufficient for the length of your stay. Display the ticket clearly on your car windscreen or dashboard.

You will need to have change for the ticket machines (see also Cashless parking) - these take any sterling coins from five pence to two pounds (they do not accept copper coins).

Additionally, pay and display machines in most border towns accept Euro coins.

Motorcyclists are also expected to pay and display in CPZs and must therefore consider how best to display their ticket clearly whilst safeguarding it at the same time. Many Motorcycle on-line forums provide advice and recommendations on how to achieve this. Motorcyclists may however wish to avail of the cashless parking option (see next section) which removes this concern.

Cashless parking

The Parkmobile, Cashless Payment System is now available in all Pay and Display Off-Street car parks and On-Street charged car parking locations in Northern Ireland. This system provides an alternative method of paying for your parking other than using coins at the Pay and Display machines. You will need to register your details with Parkmobile, however, once registered you can pay for and manage your parking using your mobile phone, mobile app or on-line.

You do not have to estimate your parking time as you control when you start and stop your parking, however, there may be restrictions on the length of time you are permitted to park, see local signage for details. There is no need to display a Pay and Display ticket on your vehicle as Traffic Attendants can check if parking has been paid using Parkmobile.

Details of how the service operates is provided on the Pay and Display machines at each location. You can get more information from the poster below:

For more information on cashless parking, please visit the Parkmobile website:

Car Parking charges off-street and on-street (non-charging days)

Parking charges normally apply in all Roads Service off-street and on-street car parks from Monday to Saturday, except on 1 January, Easter Monday, 12 and 13 July and 25 and 26 December or days in lieu, when there is no charge.

The only exception is Ballymena Town Centre Multi-Storey car park, which operates in conjunction with the opening hours of the Tower Centre and charges may apply on some of these dates.

See link below for details of non-charging days 2011-2016.

Please note that although parking charges do not apply on these dates, all other parking restrictions remain enforceable.

More useful links