Illegal parking costing the town
Officials insist bad parking habits have developed among us
A lack of parking is not a problem in Sligo town but we have developed bad parking habits.
That's according to Senior Council engineer Brian Flynn who gave a presentation on the 'myths and legends' of parking in Sligo to members of Sligo Municipal District last week.
"Every time parking bye-laws are broken, that's a missed opportunity for the town. Even if the coach users only buy lunch, that's €2,500 for the town," he told members.
He said one of the 'legends' was people just "running to the bank on Stephen Street" which had 119 parking fines issued between January and March of this year, the second highest after Wine Street car park.
Members heard that within a 750m radius of the Lady Erin statue on Market Cross there are 3,868 parking spaces, excluding all the supermarket car parks.
"To say there is no parking in Sligo is a myth," he said.
"I don't think we're doing too bad compared to Letterkenny, Wexford and Tralee,. We need to promote the positive and get away from the rhetoric there is no parking in Sligo," he added.
New 'smart' parking meters will also be installed in about 14 weeks time.
Councillor Marie Casserly welcomed the additional disabled parking bays that will be installed in Wine Street car park.
She also said elderly people might not be able to use the new parking meters and asked what measures to help such people would be put in place so that they couldn't use it as an excuse not to pay.
Councillor Sinead Maguire also welcomed the extra disabled parking spaces coming into Wine Street car park: "Take my space, take my disability." Councillor Chris MacManus asked if there were harsher penalties that could be brought in for illegal parking in disabled spaces.
"It's one of the most selfish things to do ," he said.
Councillor Seamus Kilgannon said the members had a duty to sell the new bye-law plan and queried if the hourly rate could be reduced to €1.
Head of Finance Marie Whelan told Cllr Kilgannon that it didn't add up economically to reduce the hourly rate to €1.
She told Cllr MacManus that there was already a "zero tolerance" by the four traffic wardens to people parking illegally in disabled spaces.
Engineer Brian Flynn told Cllr Casserly they would be informing people how to use the new parking meters simply.