Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Connacht Tribune

Free parking aims to boost local business in Athenry

Published

on

Councillors have voted to make parking free in the Backlawn Carpark beside Kenny Park in Athenry for three months – in an effort to boost business in the town and make use of the currently “underused” facility.

On a motion put forward by Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) and seconded by Cllr Gabe Cronnelly (Ind), councillors of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District unanimously agreed to make parking in the Backlawn from September to November, with a view to making it permanently free if it successfully increases business in the town.

According to Cllr Herterich Quinn, who said she lived beside the car park and saw daily how underused it is, making parking free would increase the number of spaces in the town centre for more vulnerable road users.

“If we allow it to be free, then it might encourage people to park there, thereby freeing up parking in town and people who are elderly or infirm could use the on-street parking,” she said.

Concurring, Cllr Cronnelly said making parking free would not take up any man hours and said while the car park was much used for games in Kenny Park, it was empty most of the time outside that.

“If the car park was used a bit more, there would be less litter around the clothes banks and bottle banks too.

“In the long-term, I’d be looking to make it free,” he added.

In a report read by Senior Executive Engineer in Roads Paula Higgins said, on average, the 92-space car park was used by six or seven cars per day and the annual take from the Council was €6,000.

While the Council executive welcomed the trial free parking, it requested that councillors find some measure of its success in relation to the suggested impact on the town centre, residents and local businesses.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) said he regularly passes the car park and rarely sees any cars in it – adding that estimates by his colleagues of five cars were probably even overstated.

“You wonder, when community wardens have to do a cash call, if the revenue in the machine is even covering the cost of the cash call.

“The way rural towns are going, a lot of trade and retail is barely existing and they’re paying rates, so anything we can do, in the Council and in the Municipal District to generate footfall and revenue for business should be encouraged,” said Cllr Carroll.

Cllr Herterich said that the introduction of free parking had to be “marketed” and that signage should be erected to indicate that it was available in the town.

She also suggested that if this introduction in Athenry was successful, it should be rolled out in other areas – and that it should be done in conjunction with a clamp down on illegal parking in the town centres.

Cllr Jim Cuddy (Ind), Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District, agreed and said there would now be “no excuse” for illegal parking or for the streets to be “blocked up”.

Parking at the Backlawn Car Park is currently 70c per hour and €3 per day, but from the first of September to November 30, it will be free.

A second part of Cllr Herterich Quinn’s motion, which called for the introduction of free Christmas parking in Athenry was deferred as it was agreed this should be done, as usual, at the Plenary Council session in November when all towns in the County would be considered for the initiative.

Connacht Tribune

Schools and colleges in Galway advised to close for Storm Barra

Published

on

Schools in Galway have begun informing parents that they will not open tomorrow, following advice from the Department of Education.

The Dept said this evening that schools, colleges and universities in areas where a Status Orange or Red warning apply for Storm Barra should not open.

A spokesperson said: “Met Éireann has advised that there is a strong possibility that the status of parts of these counties currently in Status Orange are likely to change and escalate to Status Red.

“Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to institutions of further and higher education, the department is advising that all universities, colleges and further education facilities covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.

“All schools and third level institutions should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.”

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway Gardaí: ‘Stay at home during Storm Barra’

Published

on

Gardaí in Galway have warned people to stay home tomorrow (Tuesday) as Met Éireann forecasted a ‘risk to life’ ahead of Storm Barra’s expected landfall tomorrow morning.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said the City Council was preparing for the ‘high probability’ of coastal flooding.

A combination of tomorrow’s high tides with the forecast high winds and heavy rainfall would likely lead to a flooding event, he said.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said the best advice available was to stay at home but refused to comment on school closures – advising that was a matter for the Department of Education.

Mr McGrath said a number of meetings between local and national agencies had already taken place, with more set to run throughout the day as preparations got underway for this winter’s first severe weather event.

“High tide is at 6.45am tomorrow morning and at 7.20pm tomorrow evening. There is currently a Red Marine Warning in place for the sea area that includes Galway and an Orange Storm Warning for Storm Barra for 6am Tuesday morning to 6am on Wednesday morning,” said Mr McGrath, adding that it was possible this storm warning could be raised to Red later today.

With high tide at 5.45 metres and a forecast storm surge of 1.05m, the risk of flooding was significant. In addition, winds were currently forecast to be South-West to West, said Mr McGrath, conducive to a flooding event in the city.

“It is potentially problematic . . . the hope would be that the storm surge doesn’t happen at the same time as high tide,” he added.

The flood protection barrier had been installed at Spanish Arch over the weekend and storm gullies had been cleaned. Sandbags were to be distributed throughout the day, said Mr McGrath.

Council staff would be on duty throughout the weather event and Gardaí would be operating rolling road closures from early morning. Carparks in Salthill were closed today, while tow trucks were on standby to remove any vehicles not moved by their owners before the high-risk period.

Chief Supt Curley said it was imperative people stayed home where possible.

The best way to say safe was to “leave the bicycle or the car in the driveway” from early tomorrow morning, and to stay indoors until the worst of the storm had passed.

Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Storm Barra to bring coastal flooding and disruption to Galway

Published

on

Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West on Tuesday, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said,

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending