Parking barriers to remain closed at night
Proposals to open up the council's barrieried car parks at night for free parking have been shot down.
Cllr George Lawlor said the council should open up the 'newly barrieried car parks at Ferrybank, Paul Quay and wherever else deemed appropriate' in the evening until early morning. 'This move would greatly assist business in the relevant areas and encourage people to park safely in these areas'.
He said this should also be extended to Sundays. 'It would give the business in these areas the same playing field as those with accessible on street parking'. He pointed out that emergency vehicles have also been forced to pay to leave the car park at TK Maxx if they enter it to tend to an emergency.
He was supported by Cllr Davy Hynes who said that when the barriers were introduced at certain car parks this is what he had assumed would happen.
Cllr Fergie Kehoe was also in agreement. 'These areas have to entice as many people as possible into town. I know there is a lot of money gone into the car parks but we have to give customers something back.'
Cllr Lawlow said he didn't think it would have any negative impact on the car parking receipts because the barriers had been introduced after the budget.
District manager Angie Laffan said the council has invested heavily in car parks spending €0.75 million. She said the primary goal of the barriers was to help pay for that and generate income. 'I understand where you are coming from but it's not as easy as lifting the barriers. The counters on the car parks are synced with the parking signs coming into the town and these would all have to be reset daily manually. The whole idea of the barriers was to reduce staff resources.
Cllr Kehoe then suggested using a token system. 'I know what you are saying but I find it a bit unfair that people are being penalised for using car parks overnight. Often these are people on a night out and they are being penalised for doing the right thing.
'Wexford has a very good commercial section and the commercial sector needs something to be given back.'
Ms Laffan said she didn't accept that the members weren't aware of how the system would work once introduced and Cllr Hynes said he didn't think the members would have agreed had they known how it would work.
The notion to open the barriers was passed by all the members present with the exception of Cllr Jim Moore who abstained as he wanted details on the council's parking policy.