Car park talks slow, but go­ing in right di­rec­tion

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Catherine De­vane, from Mar­ian Park, Din­gle, is a stu­dent of jour­nal­ism at DIT. By CATHERINE DE­VANE

DIN­GLE is still wait­ing on a new car park de­spite ear­lier prom­ises that it would be fin­ished by June of this year.

Kerry County Coun­cil plans to de­velop a car park in the heart of the town with space for ap­prox­i­mately 80 cars. How­ever, a deal has not yet been fi­nalised on the still undis­closed site.

More park­ing spa­ces are ur­gently needed in the town, espe­cially dur­ing the busy sum­mer pe­riod. Al­though Din­gle al­ready has three car parks on the wa­ter­front and an­other in the mart grounds, along with on-street park­ing through­out the town, the short­age of spa­ces to ac­com­mo­date the vol­ume of sum­mer traf­fic is a ma­jor is­sue.

This sum­mer saw the lack of park­ing spa­ces caus­ing stress for lo­cals who work in the town and frus­tra­tion for vis­i­tors com­ing to the area.

John Sheehy, of the Din­gle Busi­ness Cham­ber and the Din­gle Penin­sula Tourism Al­liance, says that the park­ing cri­sis is a con­sid­er­able con­cern in the town.

‘The Din­gle Busi­ness Cham­ber and the Din­gle Busi­ness Al­liance have ur­gently been seek­ing Kerry County Coun­cil to create 200 more park­ing spa­ces in town,” said John, adding: “This sum­mer saw the loss of 60 car park­ing spa­ces in the town, due to more spa­ces be­ing des­ig­nated for bus park­ing at the pier.”

The lack of suf­fi­cient park­ing spa­ces also causes a build-up of traf­fic in the town and John said this is a ma­jor prob­lem “espe­cially on rainy days when the town comes to a near stand­still”.

He added that emer­gency ser­vices are “se­ri­ously con­cerned about the dif­fi­culty of get­ting emer­gency ve­hi­cles through Din­gle when traf­fic has clogged up the town”.

The pro­posed new car park will fol­low the same pay-park­ing sys­tem used for the ex­ist­ing car parks. Coun­cil spokesper­son Owen O’Shea ex­plained that “the [car park] de­vel­op­ment is made fea­si­ble due to the rev­enue be­ing gen­er­ated from pay park­ing in the ex­ist­ing car parks and the po­ten­tial for rev­enue gen­er­a­tion in the pro­posed car park”.

He said that while ne­go­ti­a­tions re­gard­ing the planned new car park have been slower than an­tic­i­pated, “they are pro­gress­ing pos­i­tively and there is a will­ing­ness to reach a con­clu­sion as soon as pos­si­ble”.

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