The Director of Services for the West Mayo Municipal District has called for councillors to give new parking by-laws a chance before talking about amending them.
On-street car parking charges are expected to be introduced in Westport in the coming weeks after controversial new by-laws were passed last October. Director of Services, Catherine McConnell, told local councillors they will be letting them know ‘very shortly’ when the commencement date will be, while local businesses have been written to, regarding changes to car parking in the town.
Speaking on the issue at last week’s monthly meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District, Cllr Christy Hyland sought reassurances that aspects of the by-laws could be changed if they are not working.
“If we want to give free parking in November, we have the power to do that, and if we want to give free parking at Christmas, we have the power to do that. It is important we get that message across that nothing has been set in stone and amendments can be made,” he said.
Ms McConnell accepted that it was a reserve function of the councillors to amend by-laws, but asked councillors to give them a chance when they are introduced.
“Of course, it is a matter for the municipal district to look at them as they see fit, but we feel you should give them a chance before you start looking at them again. The by-laws can be reviewed at any time and if issues arise we will deal with them very fairly. Please don’t start talking about changing them before giving them a chance,” she said.
The street parking laws will designate two separate zones, blue and pink, with two different rates applying to each. The first hour of parking will be free in the pink zone with a cost of €1 for the second hour, this zone includes the town centre and a parking restriction of two hours only will also be in place. The blue zone, which includes the Quay area, will cost 60 cent per hour with a daily rate of €3.
An annual rate of €350 per year or €35 per month will be charged for those who choose to park in James Street and Mill Street Car Parks, an annual charge of €240 per year or €25 per month will apply for the High Street Car Park. These annual rates also qualify for tax relief.
Pay-and-display machines will not be installed on the streets, and motorists are expected to have to buy parking discs in shops and businesses in Westport.