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20/10/2021

'Taken aback' by absence of disability parking bay register

Disability campaigner says every lamppost, street light and grave has specific number

Big mistake as motorist parks in disabled bay days after Garda warning

FILE PHOTO / AN GARDA SIOCHANA

Laois County Council does not have a list of disabled parking bays according to a campaigner for disabilities who wants to team up with a company that could include them in a phone app for Laois.

Portlaoise resident Mr Leo Kavanagh is the national secretary of the Laois-founded Physical Impairment Ireland. He has written to County Hall and all councillors to have a list compiled.

"We are taken aback by the fact that Laois County Council does not have a register of local authority managed disabled parking bays in the county," he said in a letter.

"As you are aware every lamppost, street light and grave in this county is given its own specific number. Therefore, the question is why does this not apply also to Disabled Parking Bays that are the property of the council? 
 
"We are currently in discussions with an Irish owned business Access Earth that is building the world's largest database of accessibility information. Access Earth has agreed that it would be possible to highlight every Disabled Parking Bay in this country if they were all allocated their own specific number.
 
"This is where Laois County Council can play a leading role in this country and prove that it is serious about the issue of people of all ages with mobility issues.  
 
"As 'Make Way Day' is Friday 24th September, can you please discuss this issue regarding people who have a Parking Permit for People with Disabilities in your Municipal District with senior officers in Laois County Council at your earliest convenience," he concluded.

The letter's contents was raised by Cllr James Kelly at the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District meeting of Laois County Council. He said the issue would be raised with councillors in all parts of Laois. The Borris Mountmellick group backed the proposal.

Cllr Kelly asked Director of Services Donal Brennan if it was possible to compile a list.

Mr Brennan said it is a good idea would be an issue in the first instance for the council's road's section for the whole county. He said the existence of private disabled parking bays could be an issue.

Cllr Paddy Bracken said he would have the proposal listed it on the agenda the Roads and Environment Strategic Policy Committee in his capacity as chairperson. 

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