Thursday 23 May 2019

Council car park plans now seem 'doomed'

A plan to develop up to 130 new free car parking spaces in Drogheda now seems 'doomed' as Louth County Council cut costs to meet an expected shortfall in budget expectations.

The council were looking to dig into the embankment at the Donore Road car park to add 90 additional spaces for commuters and workers, with a cost of €130,000.

They had also envisaged spending €60,000 on adding 40 spaces to the free facility at Mell.

But local councillor Paul Bell now feels both projects are no longer feasible.

'I had got to the point where Louth County Council had agreed to expand both of these popular facilities which are mainly used by workers and commuters. Costings had been confirmed,' he stated. 'The future of both of these projects now looks to be doomed. I do however commit to continue with my campaign but without dedicated funding it will be difficult. I also have a genuine concern that Council will reinstate charges on both free car parks in order to mitigate the loss from the reduction to €1.00 for parking in the town.'

And now he says residents in some areas are now concerned that they'll be impacted by price rises on the Windmill Road and Boyle O'Reilly.

'These matters should not have been tagged onto the motion proposing the reduction in car parking fee as they both impact on the residents in the direct area, the general public and other areas such as Bothar Brugha were pay parking does not exist. Moneymore and Hardman's Gardens will also be impacted upon. Many residents in these locations have contacted me complaining that they had not been consulted about matters which will impact on them.'

He says people in the area feel they should have been consulted about a hospital area 'master plan' before new charges were discussed.

"Yes, I remain adamant that a reduction of 20c in the cost of hourly parking is not a positive for the common good and indeed the good of our town. Firstly Councillors proposing the reduction in car parking fee on the basis of equality with our sister town Dundalk have never challenged me on the fact that there is no free car parking provision in Dundalk and nor is there zone parking like the North Strand or Dublin Road where motorist can park their vehicle all day for a nominal €2.50.

'Also what has never been addressed is that the total loss of revenue with the reduction will impact on Council's discretionary spend which unfortunately impacts on communities, voluntary organisations and the less well off in our society,' he said.

It was agreed at a recent council meeting to reduce parking charges to €1.00 per hour from €1.20 and bring in a €4.00 charge for the Windmill Road and Boyle O'Reilly, with a two-hour limit.

Drogheda Independent