independent

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Residents fuming over new parking meters

Visitors will have to pay for parking while calling to residents

Local resident Michael Murphy at one of the new parking meters at Eire Street in Gorey
Local resident Michael Murphy at one of the new parking meters at Eire Street in Gorey

Sara Gahan

Residents in Eire Street and Cluainin are livid over Gorey Municipal District decision to install parking meters on the streets.

The first of many meters was installed last week on Eire Street, with many more to come for Cluainin and possibly Coislinne over the next few weeks.

Michael Murphy, who lives on Eire Street, explained if they have a visitor they will have to pay for parking - €1 per hour and maximum stay only three hours.

'There are a lot of elderly residents here who have children that call in to see them,' said Michael. 'Not only that, this year we were also notified that we can only possess one permit per household and visitor parking permits will no longer be issued. We have three cars at my household, so I am lucky because I purposely built a driveway for my house because spaces were tight on the street.'

Amanda Byrne, district manager, explained as part of the transition from Town Council to Municipal District the Gorey Town Pay Parking By-Laws were reviewed and a new set of by-laws prepared and subsequently adopted by the members of the Municipal District in July 2018.

'The purpose of pay parking by-laws is to effectively regulate parking in built up, urban areas, ensuring that parking spaces are properly used and that there is adequate turnover of spaces,' said Ms Byrne.

Cllr Fionntan Ó Suilleabhain strongly disagrees with the Councils decision and said the by-laws cannot be reviewed until six months after adoption so this needs to change in the new year.

'I did a survey which I presented to the September meeting,' said Cllr O Suilleabhain. 'Nearly everyone from Eire Street and Cluainin are up in arms about it.'

Many residents told Cllr O Suilleabhain that the parking meters will only draw further attention to the street and encourage those from outside the town to block up their residential spaces. Residents also stated that having a permit or two will not guarantee that someone from outside the area will take up the space outside the houses where children currently play.

Michael Fitzpatrick of Cluainin told Cllr O Suilleabhain that as nearly all houses on his street have wide driveways, he couldn't see the logic of installing meters on the few spaces left. He also said that he has 32 grandchildren and that people are regularly calling to his house.

Ms Byrne stated as Gorey town has expanded and become ever busier there is an increasing volume of traffic and some of this traffic has impacted on predominantly residential areas where rather than use a pay parking space.

'There is a growing trend of car owners parking in residential areas often taking up a space for long periods whilst they shop or even work in town,' added Ms Byrne.

This has led to repeated complaints from residents and their elected representatives as residents cannot park sufficiently close to their own house or on some occasions on their own road. To address this issue the council has extended the pay-parking area so as to have more effective regulation. Home owners in the new pay-parking areas are entitled to residents permits and will continue to avail of free parking.

A further change is the replacement of visitor permits with carer's permits. The provision of visitor permits was unique to Gorey in Wexford and over time the net effect was with significant numbers of visitor permits being issued the amount of parking for residents was substantially reduced. In order to prioritise parking for residents a visitor permit will no longer be issued. Instead a carer's permit will be granted where there is evidence of a medical care need. This will ensure that residents with health issues in particular can have their carer's park whenever they wish.

The net effect of the changes will be to ensure that the bona fide residents will have access to the maximum available number of car parking spaces and the needs of the elderly and those with medical conditions will be accommodated.

Ms Byrne added they realise that residents may be concerned and ask that they contact the Civic Offices at 053-9483800 or email gorey@wexfordcoco.ie

Gorey Guardian

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