MBA to draft proposals for council to fix parking issue
Since the traffic warden retired from Mitchelstown, parking has been getting increasingly worse according to the town's business people and they are now going to draft proposals, which they will bring to local councillors to have the problem fixed.
At a Mitchelstown Business Association meeting this week attended by Labour councillor and Fermoy businessman Noel McCarthy, a number of options about the parking were put forward and business people seemed to be split on what the best option for the town is.
While Noel posited Fermoy as a good example to follow with paid parking, he said that due to the flood works, the OPW have been paying for carparks so that they are free and based on this, he recommended that Mitchelstown look at having paid parking for a small fee on Upper and Lower Cork Street, while keeping carparks free of charge.
He said this meant that people working in the town were not parking far away and could also shop in the town, while the main streets were freed up for shoppers coming and going throughout the day.
This would give people working or living in the town somewhere to leave their cars all day for free, while those shopping in town would be able to get spaces outside businesses and shops. He also suggested having the first hour free, which sparked some debate as Mitchelstown currently offers two hours free parking, but without a warden this is being abused with people leaving their cars parked on the main shopping streets all day.
Another viewpoint put forward was that if pay parking is introduced on Upper and Lower Cork Street, it should also be in place with meters on Thomas Street, Robert Street, Baldwin Street and Church Hill, where there are other businesses.
Cllr McCarthy said that when he first went for election four years ago, he thought that free parking was the only way forward, but now having seen how well it works in Fermoy, he said that pay parking works to the advantage of the business people. However, some business people present at the meeting argued that if pay parking is introduced, no matter how small the rate is, it will drive people out of town and towards one of the three multi-nationals on the outskirts.
Making the case for having paid parking which would lead to a movement of cars throughout the day, Cllr McCarthy said that if someone drives through Mitchelstown and can't find a space, they will drive on and go elsewhere.
"Since the warden retired, there is no control and the biggest offenders are probably people working or living in the town who don't realise that taking up a space all day is taking business away," he said.
Another option Cllr McCarthy put forward is to get another parking warden to control and monitor the two hour free parking . Previously, the warden in Mitchelstown also covered Charleville, but since he retired, a full time warden has been in place in Charleville, while Mitchelstown has been left with nothing, and this was questioned at the meeting.
He said that he has been informed by the council that ,due to the recruitment embargo, they can't take on a staff member and there was no interest internally in the position, but he said that the current situation with no control on the parking is causing pandemonium and it is costing people their businesses.
Chairman of the MBA, Mark Waldron said that while he is against pay parking, something has to be done about this and he said that on a personal level, he relies on people being able to park outside his shop.
It was decided that the MBA would bring forward a number of potential proposals to the local councillors and the most suitable option would be brought forth by the local representatives to the county manager.
Thursday 7th November 5:30pm