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Parking woes at Benbulben trail

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Councillor Healy pictured at the forest walk near Benbulben mountain

Councillor Healy pictured at the forest walk near Benbulben mountain

Councillor Healy pictured at the forest walk near Benbulben mountain

The lack of adequate parking at the Benbulben Forest Walk at Gortarowey is a huge source of frustration for tourists and disruption for local residents according to Councillor Thomas Healy. He has said it is a significant health and safety issue.

"I was invited to see this issue at first hand by a number of local residents and farmers and the scene shown to me was chaotic and dangerous. The Benbulben Forest Walk showcases the jewel in the crown of Sligo's scenery and has brought significant additional traffic to the area.

"The problem now is that there are just not enough car parking spaces for the volume visiting. This has led to cars being parked constantly on the road verge, narrowing access dangerously and in many instances blocking access for residents and farmers. The tourists I spoke to said that while the attraction was fantastic, they would not recommend it due to the parking. Whilst there I had to assist a family in a camper van to back out of the car park as they were unable to turn."

"In addition the road surface has seriously deteriorated, there is large water runoff and with traffic volume and verge parking the road is rapidly disintegrating. Following the adoption of a motion on this issue from my fellow Councillor Donal Gilroy I have spoken with both the Council and Coillte to seek a solution.

"Coillte has indicated a willingness to create additional car parking spaces but will only do so when the road is upgraded. The Council estimates a cost of €120,000 for this but the roads budget is currently fully allocated. I have written to the Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys seeking funds from the recently announced Rural Regeneration Fund and hope that this will be looked on favourably."

Sligo Champion