Friday 24 May 2019

Will it take a tragedy for real action on Windmill Road?

Fears that emergency services will be blocked from getting to scene of fire due to chronic parking

The entrance to Anneville Crescent is set to get bollards all the way into the estate to stop illegal parking.
The entrance to Anneville Crescent is set to get bollards all the way into the estate to stop illegal parking.
Residents of the Windmill Road area held a meeting with local Councillors on Monday.

Hubert Murphy

There are fears that lives will be lost unless the chronic traffic situation on Windmill Road and Anneville Crescent is finally tackled.

In a sometimes impassioned meeting with local councillors at Millmount, residents of both areas spoke about the daily issues that impact on their lives.

And it was widely accepted that residents only parking may be the final solution.

The major health and safety issues on the street were raised by a number of speakers, one showing a video of an ambulance stuck in traffic as someone tried to park on the street.

They said that other ambulance drivers have said they were also delayed while parking on double yellow lines entering Anneville Crescent has the potential to deny the emergency services from getting to homes in the estate.

'Will it take a death or a tragedy on the street for someone to finally do something about this,' one resident warned.

Another speaker stated that the real problems only began two years ago, but issues began to arise when the street was made one way.

The value of houses has gone down with one man saying he moved into the street a few years ago and saw all the cars parked there.

'I thought there was a footbal match on and all the cars would be gone the following day, but it was the same!'

Caroline Gormley, who has helped raise the concerns of the residents, confirmed that a meeting had taken place with the Chief Executive of the council and engineers.

The locals pushed for residents only parking but there was a reluctance to forward it for fear of similiar requests from other areas, such as the Chord Road.

What is being accepted is that bollards will be placed on both sides of the entrance to Anneville Crescent, so meaning an end to parking on double yellow lines and footpaths.

'We know it is possible to get piecemeal things done, but will it solve the problem,' Caroline asked.

'We are a unique case when it comes to parking in the town because we have a regional hospital beside us. The hospital car park is only used when the streets are full.'

At times, when expecting visitors or deliveries, residents have put down cones, chairs and buckets outside their homes to reserve spaces.

However, they have fallen foul of the traffic wardens who say that's illegal and they face being fined as a result.

Councillors Richie Culhane, Oliver Tully, Mayor Frank Godfrey, Joanna Byrne and Kenneth Flood all attended the meeting with Cllr Flood stating that hospital workers were afraid to park in the hospital car park at night.

He said that since January, when there were 24 cars targeted, people didn't want to park there, as patroled security had been withdrawn and he wanted to see that reinstated.

'We need to put pressure on the HSE to do that,' he warned.

'If they put security in at night, it would take hundreds of cars of the street,' Caroline Gormley added.

Cllr Oliver Tully felt the parking arrangements around the hospital were 'mismanaged' and that needed to be sorted out.

He praised the residents for their hard work so far that had led to meetings with the council and the hospital. 'They seem to be listening to you more than us!, he mused.

Other questions were asked - including why Bothar Brugha was not pay parking .

It was also suggested that the Windmill Road be made one-way down from the Crosslanes in an effort to solve the problems.

Cllr Culhane said there were a number of possible solutions, including one hour parking only and increasing the charges.

The Road Safety Authority are to be contacted in relation to the safety concerns raised as the residents continue their campaign.

Drogheda Independent