PAY PARKING CHARGES TO BE INTRODUCED IN LAYTOWN AND BETTYSTOWN.
COMMUTERS TO FACE €10 BILL FOR PARKING IN THE AREA AS COUNCIL BID TO MAKE IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENTS
MAJOR changes are on the way to Laytown and Bettystown with car parking improvements allied to planned pay parking and a traffic light system under the railway bridge in Laytown.
Details of the new look for the coastal areas were revealed at the Municipal District meeting in Duleek.
The main emphasis was on seeking a solution to the chronic parking in Laytown - which sees the main car park choked with cars all day long, while local shoppers have no where to pull in, much to the anger of traders.
As part of a €140,000 plan to help the situation, engineers came up with four options for parking in the area.
1. Extend the existing car park. It was decided this was the best and quickest option. It will rise to 102 spaces, with proper marking and the removal of the bottle bins.
2. Create a new car park at the former landfill/ dump, Cllr Sharon Keogan was very vocal in her support of such a move, feeling it was a chance missed to solve the whole issue. ‘We are putting a sticker plaster’ on the problem,’ she added. She wanted to keep the €140,000 earmarked and add to it next year to ‘do the job properly’.
‘Residents and retailers have their hearts broken with people parking and leaving their cars.’
But it was claimed the EPA served notice on the council some years ago in relation to the dump and the bill to clean it up would be €1m.
3. On road parking opposite the old dump site, as presently occurs. However, the area will be properly marked to allow for some parking here.
4. The lands west of the station. These have been under discussion with the landowner and are seen as a long term solution.
Engineers carried out a survey of passengers last year and found that the train station car park - that only takes about 14 cars - fills up first of all by 8.30am.
The car park across the road is full by 8.45am and stays full until 5.45pm.
The area around the shops also fills around 9am, the same as the verge near the bridge.
In total, they feel there’s a need for 136 spaces for commuters and the present plan is for 155 spaces to be created.
They also found that 70% of people use a car to get to the station, with 21% walking and 4 to 5% using a bike or bus.
They also asked commuters if they’d pay for parking in the area with 68% saying no, 28% stating they’d pay €10 and 4% saying they’d pay €15 to €20 for parking.
Cllr Sharon Tolan said she’d like to see a long term plan in place, allowing the present car park to be used by shoppers and visitors.
Engineer Pat Shortt said doing up the car park means it will be ready to revert back to use as an amenity for the area in the future.
Cathaoirleach Tom Kelly described the plan as ‘ horrific’ and ‘one of the worst things he had seen’ presented to the council.
With Irish Rail upgrading the service to Drogheda, he wanted a long term plan.
He also urged that bus times be co-ordinated with train times
It is planned to go ahead with the project this year.
Traffic lights are going to be placed at both sides of Laytown bridge to allow a footpath to be constructed for pedestrians.
The car park in Laytown will be properly marked to increase the number of spaces - but you’ll have to pay to use it.