Despite pleas from three councillors, there will be no relaxation in pay parking bylaws in a Cork suburb any time soon.
Councillors David Boyle (Ind), Seamus McGrath (FF), and Deirdre Forde (FG), asked that people be given one hour’s free parking on the streets of Douglas (normally 80ct/hr) and that the charge for day-long parking at the off-street Woollen Mills site be reduced from €3 to €1.50.
All three said they were inundated with requests from local traders for the changes, with Mr Boyle claiming some businesses had closed because the charges were driving shoppers away from the town centre.
“This [pay parking] system is doing damage. 3,500 tickets have been handed out in its first year of operation. I have been inundated with complaints. Motorists should have a one-hour grace period.”
County manager Martin Riordan said reducing pay parking fees in Douglas could lose the town vital funding. “Successful towns have pay parking because it leads to a turnover of space. I think the council made the right decision in the first place. You’re liable to put a lot of good work on Douglas LUTS [Land Use and Transportation Study] at risk. Pay parking or rates don’t close businesses.”
After Cllr Gerard Murphy pointed out there could be legal issues involved, it was suggested that the case be referred back to the council’s transport special purposes committee. The majority of FG councillors voted to defer the discussion to the committee.
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