The reason why a courthouse pay and display car park in Wexford is under-utilised is that people visiting the court insist on parking for free in residential areas and on double yellow lines rather than using it, according to a householder living in the area.
Fine Gael councillor John Hegarty recently called for the Council-owned car park beside Wexford Courthouse in Belvedere Road to be cleaned up and for a section of it be earmarked to build housing, as it is not used to capacity.
A senior Council official informed him that a proposal to construct houses on the lower part of the site will be brought to councillors soon.
But a local resident claims people are not paying to use the car park and are parking elsewhere around the area instead.
“Local residents have been disadvantaged by gardai and solicitors not using the car park but wilfully avoiding it and parking in residential areas,” he said.
“If the courthouse environs were properly patrolled by traffic wardens and people with business in the courthouse were made to use the car park then it would be at full capacity,” he said, adding that cars are parking illegally on double yellow lines and blocking a clearly-marked area in front of the main ESB supply to the courthouse.
The householder said if Cllr Hegarty and other people are worried about the condition of the car park, by all means clean it up and “maybe tarmac it, put in a few cameras and replace the ticket machine with one that you can actually tap with a debit card”.
But if houses are built on it, where is it proposed that people with business in the courthouse park, he asked. “I for one, am sick of my house being blocked and despite repeated complaints dating back to the building of the courthouse, nothing has been done.”
In relation to daily traffic congestion at nearby St John’s Road School, the resident suggested that parents should be asked to use the courthouse car park.
“St John’s Road and St John’s Drive are on a one-way system with a primary school in the middle.
“Maybe create a path from the car park to St John’s Drive, send up traffic wardens and have parents use the car park rather than block all access twice a day as they randomly park everywhere. Make parking free for parents at that time.”