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Ballina workers urged to park outside town centre


PARKING PROBLEMS  Despite there being 20 car parks in Ballina, finding parking in the town centre is a major problem, according to councillors.  Pic: Firefly Aerial Photography

Call for temporary car parking on school grounds

Anton McNulty

A NORTH Mayo councillor has called for Mayo County Council to source temporary parking space in Ballina for the summer. Workers are also being encouraged to free-up town-centre spaces.
Developments in the north Mayo capital, such as the construction of the new Aldi supermarket, have reduced the number of parking spaces in the centre of the town. According to Knockmore-based councillor Seamus Weir, the parking situation in the town must be resolved ahead of the summer season.
“There is a lot of work going on but on the other side we are losing our parking spaces. I know a lady who said the other day she was going around and around looking for parking. It’s a nightmare at the moment trying to get parking,” he told the April meeting of Ballina Municipal District.
“What we don’t want to do is throw the baby out with the bathwater, because if people don’t get parking they will leave the town altogether. It happened before.
“I suggest a temporary parking [facility] in the boys school,” he said, stressing the importance of retail to town.

Smart signage
Fellow Independent councillor Mark Duffy told the meeting that although there are 20 car parks in the town, many are not utilised in full, and he suggested smart signage be installed around the town.
“There are some [facilities] which are not really well sign posted or people are not aware of them. Could there be some consideration for the smart signage you see in some areas, where they let you know exactly where the car park is and how many spaces are in it? There are 20 car parks in the town centre but some are lost by lack of sign posts. It might help people get parking,” he suggested.
Mr Declan Turnbull, the Head of the Municipal District, said it was regrettable that car parking spaces were being lost, but he said such new developments as the innovation quarter will ‘be a major attraction to bring people into town and benefit business’. He said he would look at the idea of temporary car parking but also encouraged people to use ‘outlying’ car parks.
“Parking is an issue at times in the centre of town, but lot of other car parks are not utilised. If people are working in the centre of town they could walk five minutes, and I urge people to use the outlying car parks as much as possible,” he said.
Mr Turnbull also commented that Ballina’s ambition is to be Ireland’s first green town and said people should be encouraged to use alternative modes of transport other than the car.