Lack of free on-street parking is criticised
The lack of free on street parking during Christmas week caused major confusion resulting in traffic wardens adopting a more lenient approach last week.
At the December meeting of Wexford Borough District Cllr George Lawlor said that there should have been free on street parking this year as in previous years adding it had caused untold confusion for shoppers.
He said that while parking was free during the week in council car parks many people weren't aware that it didn't extend to the streets. 'I think it was an error on our behalf', he said.
Cllr Lawlor said that while he appreciated that the decision had been taken to keep Wexford in line with Gorey, Enniscorthy and New Ross but said that he didn't think that was an acceptable reason.
He said that numerous shoppers had received parking tickets particularly in the first half of the week because they believed that on street parking was free as in previous years.
Neil White from Restorapic said he had been under the impression that street parking was free in Wexford this year in the lead up to Christmas as in previous weeks.
'I went down the town on Tuesday and though all the council car parks and on street parking was free. I parked up on Grogan's Road and checked a number of other cars there and they didn't have tickets on them either so I assumed it was free to park on the street.
'I went down the town to get a coffee and then I read in the paper that it was only council car parks that were free so I hightailed it back up to my car. Luckily I hadn't received a ticket but I had been gone for less than half an hour.
'I would have stayed longer in town if I hadn't read in the paper that I could be ticketed where I was parked. I went back home then and ddin't bother coming back down the town that day.
'I hope that the council will give some leeway to people who were under the impression that on street parking was free again this year.
At the meeting District manager Angela Laffan said that the members can review the parking situation next year but said previously people working in the town centre had parked on the street which didn't free up any spaces for shoppers defeating the purpose of the initiative.
However last Friday Cllr Lawlor said he had been heartened to hear that the council had instructed traffic wardens to take a more lenient approach to those parking on the street without a ticket during the lead up to Christmas.
'Because the matter had been highlighted last week I believe the wardens were told to adopt a more relaxed approach during Christmas week. I appluaed the council for taking the complaints on board and addressing them.
'I had received a number of complaints on Monday about it and there had been a lot of uproar on social media but this quietened off in the following days because of the relaxed approach being adopted by the council once they realised the confusion that was out among shoppers.'
Last Friday CEO of Wexford Chamber of Commerce said that she hadn't received any complaints from chamber members about the lack of free on street parking.