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Compromise reached on beach parking

Spaces allocated for disabled and older people in Bettystown

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Scenes last week of car-free beaches at Bettystown and Laytown. Photo: Dave Stanley

Scenes last week of car-free beaches at Bettystown and Laytown. Photo: Dave Stanley

Scenes last week of car-free beaches at Bettystown and Laytown. Photo: Dave Stanley

droghedaindependent

A compromise has been reached to allow parking for elderly or vulnerable people on Bettystown beach after a decision was taken to continue the closure to general vehicles until September.

Meath CC decided on the move last Friday at a meeting of the Environmental SPC.

The closure of the beach has sparked some controversy as a lack of parking near the beauty spot has led to cars being parked on the approach roads and in estates.

However, agreement has been reached that Colaiste na hInse can be used as a car park for the summer months.

There had been a total ban on parking on the beach and that left some people unable to use it, but with up to 15 spaces now available, it will allow all sections of the community to enjoy it. The area will be marked off and policed by the beach warden.

Local Fine Gael Councillor Sharon Tolan said she welcomed the decision by the Environment SPC of Meath County Council to retain the current prohibition on cars on the beaches of Mornington, Bettystown, Laytown and Gormanston. The beaches in Meath were closed to vehicles in March after large crowds descended on the popular spots.

"This is a really great day for the people of Meath, but especially the people of East Meath, who have traditionally avoided the local beaches during the busy summer period because of traffic volumes and litter. Nobody should have to negotiate traffic on a beach.' she stated.

'We now have use of the Colaiste na hInse car park, and I would like to thank the local Principal Anne Marie McCarrick, and indeed the CE of LMETB Martin O'Brien for their support and enthusiasm in offering their facilities as a solution for the community. We still have a way to go but I am confident that with the right signage and further solutions, that we can ensure we never again see another car on the beaches of Meath."

Cllr Paddy Meade, who took to a wheelchair to highlight the needs of disabled people when they couldn't park on the beach, maintains that the beach should be opened for controlled parking. He also says it will impact on the likes of ice cream sellers and those that provide a service for beach users during the summer.


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