TULLAMORE Town Council is set to introduce paid parking in several residential areas in a bid to end parking problems, if new draft bye-laws get the thumbs up.
At Thursday’s meeting of Tullamore Town Council members were presented with the proposed plan which is set to go on public display at the Town Hall from Tuesday May 22.
The proposed plan will see the introduction of two hour maximum paid parking in the following areas ; Marian Place, O’Molloy Street, Pearse Park, Parnell Street, Meadow Close, Clontarf Road, Convent View, Tyrrells Road, Callery Street, Davitt Street and Roselawn.
In addition parking on Henry Street, which had both hourly and all day parking will now become fully hourly parking with the all day spaces moved to Riverside.
Also the plan aims to alleviate problems with parking at Kilcruttin where people were parking all day causing difficulty for parents dropping off and collecting children at Scoil Bhride and Scoil Mhuire. Now there will also be maximum stay two hour paid parking.
The rates for parking will be uniform throughout the town with 50 cent per half hour with a two hour maximum, and €2.50 for all day parking.
However for streets in high demand such a Colmcille Street, Harbour Street, Bridge Lane and Patrick Street there will be one hour maximum parking.
In the presentation Gabriel Conlon also said there would be some changes in relation to residents permits.
While residents in the paid parking areas will be entitled to their first permit and visitors permit free, there will be a €20 charge for their second permit and a €40 for their third permit.
Mr Conlon said the changes in the proposed plan aimed to help residents who were having difficulties in relation to parking outside their homes as well as to provide workers with all day parking and provide greater protection for vulnerable road users.
Many groups were invited to the pre draft consultation, including residents associations, schools and the Gardai.
Parking in the Daingean Road car park will remain free.
In addition the council are also offering an annual parking permit for all day parkers at a cost of €400. Mr Conlon said if you were to park in all day parking every day during the year it would cost you €750, so the permit was a huge saving.
The Council has always had construction permits for those working in one hour paid parking locations, which come at a cost of €70 per week.
The draft plan will remain on public display during working hours at the Town Hall until June 22. July 6 will see the conclusion of submissions received and the completed plan will be brought before councillors for their consideration at a special meeting on July 26.
If adopted the by laws will commence on August 27.
Chairperson Sinead Dooley said they were not going to get it “100% right” and said it was hugely important for people to engage with the council over the six week public consultation phase.
She asked residents to link up over the issue to ensure residents associations were representative of all their residents.
Cllr Sean O’Brien said while he felt the pay and display system would solve residents problems, he asked that the maximum parking time be reduced to one hour.
“We have sufficient two hour parking in other areas of the town,” said Cllr O’Brien.
He also expressed his opposition to charging residents for parking permits. “People shouldn’t be punished for living in their own areas,” remarked Cllr O’Brien.
Cllr Brendan Killeavy asked that the Town Hall remain open one evening to allow those working to view the plans.
He also suggested a leaflet drop to the residential areas affected.
Cllr Lar Byrne said the council, by introducing the new bye-laws, will help the town, residents associations and the council. “It is just a draft, nothing will be passed until the process has been carried out,” said Cllr Byrne.
Cllr Tony McCormack said he had an issue with the one hour paid parking maximum on the towns busier streets. He said in times gone by when the town was busier traders would have had no issue with this, but as it stood he felt they would have and asked that the time be increased to a two hour maximum.