Thursday 27 June 2019

Council to investigate after bus driver slams 'unreasonable' traffic warden

'If that's what Mallow traders are up against I can totally understand their frustrations'

Bill Browne

A senior Cork County Council official has promised to investigate an allegation that a traffic warden in Mallow told a bus driver dropping a group of elderly people into the town to go shopping that he would issue him with a ticket if he did not immediately move his vehicle.

Speaking to presenter John Paul McNamara on the C103 Cork Today Show, the bus driver named John told how he had driven a group of elderly people from Whitechurch to Mallow to go shopping. 

He said they were all over 80-years old and were only able to manoeuvre about with the aid of walking sticks and zimmer frames.

John said that in order to allow them unhindered access into Dunnes Stores, his passengers had requested that he park as close as he could to the arch entrance to Market Square so they could walk straight through. 

He said that after he had pulled over to let his passengers alight a traffic warden approached and ordered him to move the bus immediately.

"I asked him if he could just give me two minutes for the passengers to get off the bus and he said 'I'm giving you a ticket, I'm giving you a ticket'. I again asked if he could give me two minutes, pointing out that there were elderly and disabled people on the bus," said John.

However, he claimed the traffic warden ignored his pleas and again told him he was going to issue a ticket.

"I said I was taking pictures of the elderly people getting off the bus and if he gave me a ticket I would contest it and said I could take all the pictures I wanted. I left the ladies off and drove away," said John. 

"I was only parked up for a maximum of two minutes and did not cause any traffic problems while I was there." 

John said that he could not be sure if the warden had actually issued a ticket, but that he did expect to get one in the post and would be challenging it.

"The ladies were very upset by what happened and said they would not be returning to Mallow to go shopping again. If that's what the traders in Mallow are up against I can totally understand their frustrations," said John.

He agreed with John Paul that Mallow had now lost eight regular visitors to the town who would have spent money in local shops. 

"I think what happened was totally wrong as there was no issue of being parked up and blocking traffic from coming up and down the road," said John. 

The issue was raised at the December meeting of Cork County Council's Kanturk/Mallow committee by Cllr Timmy Collins (Ind) who said he had heard the conversation as it played out on the airwaves.

"I assume this is a true account of what happened and if so it is scandalous and should be investigated. It is ridiculous that a bus driver can not stop for a short period of time to drop off elderly or disabled people," said Cllr Collins. 

"If this did happen, and I have no reason to believe it didn't, the person (traffic warden) should be found and removed from their position," he added. The council's municipal district officer, Liz Donovan, said she was not aware of the incident but would look into the matter. 

"I'm not making any excuses. I will check this out with APCOA (the private company that monitors parking in Mallow) and the traffic wardens and come back to you," Ms Donovan told the committee.