Cork County Council to take over parking enforcement in Mallow next year

Prior to the decision, Mallow was the only town in county Cork which had its parking overseen by a private company.

Cork County Council to take over parking enforcement in Mallow next year

Cork County Council is to move parking enforcement in Mallow town in-house, as the current contract with APCOA will not be renewed when it runs out next year.

Instead, the Council will hire its own traffic wardens and also perform maintenance and administration internally.

A report into traffic enforcement in Mallow has indicated that €14,000 could be saved annually by the Council carrying out this work itself. The decision was announced at a meeting on Tuesday.

Prior to the decision, Mallow was the only town in county Cork which had its parking overseen by a private company. Cork County Council's spend on parking had been repeatedly criticised.

Figures revealed by the Irish Examiner last week showed that APCOA earned €1.7 million from the council contract since 2014.

The matter attracted the attention of Labour TD Seán Sherlock who had urged the council to take control of parking enforcement once again.

Labour TD Seán Sherlock: "On the issue of parking, for a number of years we have been fighting the imposition of a private global corporation operating publicly owned car parks."
Labour TD Seán Sherlock: "On the issue of parking, for a number of years we have been fighting the imposition of a private global corporation operating publicly owned car parks."

"On the issue of parking, for a number of years we have been fighting the imposition of a private global corporation operating publicly owned car parks," he said.

"Now that parking attendants can be publicly employed by the Council it’s long overdue to halt the contract that currently exists in Mallow."

Mr Sherlock's colleague Cllr James Kennedy had promised to fight the parking issue upon his election in May.

Mr Kennedy said: "Parking in Mallow will return to the full ownership of the people. No longer will Mallow money be used to pay a private operator."

Fianna Fáil councillor Gearóid Murphy said the decision had been fought for by business groups and residents for years.

"We believe that Council-employed traffic wardens are preferable to contracting the work to a private company, and will hopefully also lead to more of the parking money collected being retained locally in Mallow," he said.

Traders had expressed frustration at being excluded from the discussions on the future of the town's parking network. The decision was made by the council executive at a behind closed doors meeting.

Fine Gael councillor Tony O'Shea welcomed the decision to take back responsibility for the town's car parking system in Mallow.

Mr O'Shea and fellow councillor Liam Madden had previously submitted motions on the matter.

"It is clear that the present system was not working effectively and it is important now that the new system will operate for the benefit of the traders and the people who come to shop in Mallow town," he said.

Mr O'Shea also requested "the simplification of parking zones within the town into the future".

"For example, if a person parks on Shortcastle Street and obtains a parking ticket for same, he/she should be able to utilise this ticket in another part of the town within the time limit of the ticket," he said.

"I am glad that these changes will also be implemented during 2020 which will be of enormous benefit to the people availing of parking in Mallow town."

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