Parking costs adds to a Portlaoise shopping day

PARKING CHARGES

PARKING CHARGES

Costly shopping day in town

Last Saturday I parked my car outside the Euro Shop in Portlaoise as I had shopping and business to do in Portlaoise.

Being a law-abiding citizen I placed a €2 ticket on the car and went about my business. Before I knew where I was the two hours I had paid for on my ticket was almost up so I rushed out of the hairdressers to place a further £2 on my car to cover me for parking for a further 2 hours.

I finished up in the hairdressers and went on to do my shopping and returned to my car in plenty of time or so I thought! As I approached my car I could see that a ticket had been placed on my windscreen with a fine of €40 euro. I thought there was a mistake so I went into Laois County Hall on Tuesday morning with my two valid tickets and my parking fine. I went up to the desk and explained my predicament to the lady at reception and asked to speak to someone about the fine. I was directed over into the corner (like a bold child) to speak to a man on the phone about my fine. I explained my predicament and was told that not only could I not park in that place for longer than 2 hours but I couldnt park in that whole carpark for longer than 2 hours in any one day!

I was told to put my appeal in writing and that it would be investigated and a decision would be made as to the fine within 3 days. I received a letter from Laois County Council today stating that my appeal had been unsuccessful. What I want to know is who is making these rules in Laois County Council? Is this the same County Council who have said in the past that they would do everything in their power to bring business back to the main street? How do they expect the business people in the town centre to make a living if they are going to fine customers for staying too long shopping there?

Now I dont blame the traffic wardens for giving me this fine, I think they are doing a fine job and only following the rules laid down by the County Council but I do blame the “out of date” decision makers in Laois County Council who make the rediculous decisions as regards to parking in Porlaoise town. Do they not realise how long it takes for any woman to do her weekly shopping, get her nails and hair done on their Saturday off? It is not possible to do all this in 2 hours!

This 2 hour parking restriction needs to be reviewed if the Main St is to be revived. In my opinion this parking restriction is playing a huge role in the fact that half the shops on Main St are closed. Are the County Council not going to be happy until they have turned Portlaoise into a ghost town?

I hope you will publish this letter and I will be very interested to see the reactions of the business people on Main Street, the general public and the “so-called” decision-makers of Laois County Council.

Tina Bartley

Glenbrook

Ballyroan

Co Laois