GoCar space will move
Park Street traders were up in arms last week after discovering that a parking space outside Mackins Leather Goods was designated as reserved for 'GoCar' users only.
Louth County Council confirmed that it is running a pilot scheme in conjunction with GoCar which will be renewed after six months,
GoCar, which has been operating in Dublin and Cork for nearly ten years, is now expanding into Louth, and there will be three vehicles for hire in Dundalk, which will be based at Clark Railway Station, The scheme allows people who sign up to rent cars for as short a time as an hour. Reserved parking spaces for GoCar users have been designed at Boyds Car Park, Park Street and Bridge Street and those sing the cars don't have to pay parking charges.
Park Street shopkeeper Ciaran Mackin was shocked to discover that the parking space outside his shop was designated for GoCar users when he arrived to open up on Wednesday morning.
'There has been not consultation with the traders about this, not one word,' he said. He pointed out that the northern end of Park Street had lost several parking spaces over the years.
'It's going to drive people away from the area as they will be afraid to park.'
He said that while he wasn't opposed to the GoCar scheme, the parking space should have been provided in the nearby car park at The Ramparts.
Caoimhe O'Brien of The Green Room said the move was 'completely unfair'.
'Parking is already limited in Park Street. My customers can't park outside the shop because of a loading bay, so this will put them off coming here,'
'It's a joke - they didn't consult with anybody,' said Daniel Holland of Holland's Hardware. 'It was done in the middle of the night, the same as the taxi ranks.'
Dundalk BID also entered the fray stating that they were 'completely unaware of this and there was no consultation with businesses in Park Street. We are disappointed that a prime on-street parking space has been allocated in this way. While we understand and support car sharing, we feel it should be done in a way that would not impact on the key assets for Dundalk street traders.'
However, they later said that they had been informed by Louth County Council that the Go Car space at park Street would be relocated before the launch of the new scheme in September. 'It is important to remember, that this location outside Mackins Leathergoods is still a regular on-street parking space and that normal ticketing charges will apply,' they stated. 'The BID company also welcomes any positive outcomes that the new GoCar Ireland scheme will bring to the town centre.'
The local authority had issued a statement saying that the parking locations were selected to service transport hubs, residential areas and town centre trading areas and that they would 'facilitate an engaged review with all stakeholders before the pilot ends'.