There are proposals to install disabled and age friendly parking spaces on St Mary's Road as part of the Parade Ground regeneration.
At their January meeting, members of Arklow Municipal District received a progress report from ARUP about the design of the project in response to concerns outlined at the December meeting about the provision of car parking in the area. The design team now propose installing two to three age friendly and disabled spaces near the pedestrian crossing at the side entrance at Ss Mary's and Peter's Church.
Cllr Miriam Murphy (Ind) said there were no easy options to the issue.
Councillors also raised concerns about the potential impact on parking arrangements for businesses on St Mary's Road.
Acting district engineer Rob Mulhall said that many of the parking spots used by businesses would be free at the weekends. Arup had indicated the project was due go out to tender shortly with construction expected to begin later this year.
Cllr Pat Fitzgerald (FF) stated Arklow needs an 'upgrade' and he was happy with the proposed solution.
Cllr Tommy Annesley (FF) noted that many people had made submissions on the issue of parking in the area. He asked if they would receive responses as members of the public had contacted councillors about this issue.
Mr Mulhall said those who made submissions were entitled to an acknowledgement, but he did not think they would receive individual responses. Each submission had been reviewed and included in a report presented to the CEO of Wicklow County Council.
Cllr Annesley said he still had concerns that there were only three parking spaces at the Parade Ground. He said he felt that more spaces could be included in the area.
Mr Mulhall said there had been support previously from members for this approach to parking at the Parade Ground. There was 'ample parking' in town for vehicles. He noted that allowances had been made for disabled and age friendly parking in the area.
The discussion then turned to illegal parking in the Parade Ground area, particularly at weekends.
Cllr Fitzgerald said it was for the gardai to deal with this issue. He added there was parking at Arus Lorcain which did not appear to be used. Cllr Fitzgerald said there may be a concern that businesses would have no parking on St Mary's Road. He also asked about the restrictions for the age friendly parking spaces.
Mr Mulhall confirmed anyone over the age of 55 could park in the age friendly spaces.
Cllr Fitzgerald suggested that a request could be made to Irish Rail for use of the Arklow train station car park at weekends, when it was not in high demand.
Cllr Sylvester Bourke (FG) said that this request had been made before and had been refused at that time.