Row at council over 'lack of car parking'
A row about parking on The Avenue broke out at last week's sitting the town council, with Cllr Lorcan adamant that parking on the street is inadequate despite four car parks nearby.
Cllr Allen said there was 'an obvious lack of parking – people can't park on the Avenue. The undertaker has no room for parking outside his premises. It's a sham and a disgrace. The lack of parking outside the post office is a disgrace. There's three or four cars parked there and parked there all day. The car park outside here [the civic building] is full. The car park beside me is full. Parking on the Avenue is practically nil.
'There will be even less parking if the road is widened. People are coming in to me every second day of the week complaining that there's no parking. That's a fact. People in the post office now are getting worried too because Tesco has opened a post office.'
Cllr Michael D'Arcy said Tesco 'hasn't opened a post office – it's a very limited service there'.
'That's the start of it', replied Cllr Allen. 'I want the Avenue looked at again in terms of parking. If the Avenue is widened there won't be parking for anyone. There's barely room for three cars outside the post office.'
He was supported by Cllr Bernard Crosbie, who said car parking needs to be provided at the post office.
Cllr Colin Webb, however, had a different view. 'I think the work on the Avenue so far is to be congratulated. I think it's a nice job up to now. What Cllr Allen is saying is complete rubbish. There was never any more than three or four spaces outside the post office. There is actually more car parking now with the car parks at the Civic Buildings, the Railway Station and the Methodist Church. We were told we would lose some parking when the trees go in.
'It would be nice if we could reserve the parking at the post office for the elderly but we can't.'
Cllr Robbie Ireton said he had been contacted by a local undertaker complimenting the work done. 'I'm surprised at Cllr Allen giving out so much about the parking when he himself has a massive yard. Maybe he should look at opening it up.'
Executive engineer Neville Shaw said there is 'adequate car parking in the vicinity of the Avenue'. 'Our own car park is empty at weekends and only three quarters full on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is busy on court dates all right.'
He also referenced the car parks at the railway station, Dunnes Stores and the Methodist Church. He also said the council was in talks with the Freemasons regarding the provision of car parking spaces.
Mr Shaw said the council will be taking some spaces off the Avenue from 'a safety point of view because there is a lot of gates'. He said this will give a better effect on the Avenue. 'We are losing about eight spaces off the Avenue but gained 40 here, 24 at the Methodist Church and the railway station is always half empty'.