14 Aug 2022

Demand to knock house or buy land to solve parking crisis in Laois village


Councillor demands action in village on busy road

A house will have to be knocked or land bought to solve Durrow’s car parking problems after the return of traffic to the busy Laois village with a ‘vengeance’ a county council has demanded.

Cllr Ollie Clooney, Independent, made the demand on Laois County Council after tabling a motion at the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District.

His motion called on county hall to investigate the feasibility of providing a car park in Durrow. Cllr Clooney went further when explaining why he believes it’s a necessity.

“If we have no land, we have to get land because this is a huge problem,” he declared.

He said the need had disappeared during lockdowns the village, which is on the Kilkenny road, is suffering the same old problems.

“Cars are back with vengeance. We have bumper traffic,” he insisted.

Cllr Clooney believes that the village could benefit from extra parking. 

“Even if 5% of these cars pulling in it would make a huge difference,” he said.

Cllr Clooney was prepared to commit €28,000 from his councillor discretionary fund to start this project but he insisted that drastic measures would have to be taken to found space.

“If we have to knock a house I don't care, we have to do what we have to, but we have to get this car park for Durrow. It's a serious issue,” he said.

Cllr John King, Fine Gael, backed his colleague. He said he has been contacted by residents faced with a lot of problems with casual parking especially on Sundays which he said is a “very social day” in Durrow.

He asked if parking be included in a plan for the village.

Cllr James Kelly, Independent, was also on board. He said workers would also have to be considered.
“You have to have secure parking spaces for the staff that are working in the businesses,” he said.

He said if paid parking was introduced they would need an alternative. He added that the time limited parking to be introduced in Mountrath was only possible because of the availability of parking in existing local car parks.

The motion also won support from Fianna Fáil representatives Cllrs Paddy Bracken and Seamus McDonald.

Mr. Farhan Nasiem, A/S.E.E., Road Design replied in writing to the motion.

“There is no land available in the ownership of Laois County Council where additional car park spaces could be provided in the centre of Durrow. The implementation of time limited parking in Durrow, similar to that in Mountrath may improve parking space availability through the frequent turnover of spaces and increase the number of patrons utilising the retail offering in the town centre. 

“A decision on the provision of parking facilities that are remote from the town centre would require that a parking study be undertaken on the occupancy and turnover of existing spaces in the town centre,” he said.

Director of Services Donal Brennan thanked Cllr Clooney for raising the issue. He said there are some positives in the written reply from the Road Design section. However, he agreed with Cllr Kelly that time limited parking would have consequences for employees in local businesses.

However, he undertook to revert back back to road design to advance work on a solution adding that Cllr Clooney had raised an very important point for Durrow.

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