Writes Ciaran Dineen
According to Crosshaven-based public representative, Councillor Audrey Buckley (FF), several car parking fines were issued at local beaches in the Crosshaven area over the weekend of the 16th, 17th & 18th July.
It comes following a week of incredible weather which has seen huge visitor numbers to beaches around Crosshaven, namely Mrytleville, Fountainstown and Church Bay.
That has brought with it a high volume of cars to the seaside amenities, taking parking capacity to its breaking point in many cases over the weekend.
Such was the demand that formal car-parking quickly filled up, with motorists choosing then to park along the road in Myrtleville and Fountainstown in particular. While this is the norm at this time of the year, it has led to passages and roads being blocked off by semi-abandoned parked cars, notably between Fountainstown beach and the popular ‘back beach’. As a result, emergency service vehicles cannot access the area if required to do so and thus poses significant health and safety risks.
Speaking at July’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) meeting this week, Cllr Buckley informed attendees that she had been in contact with local gardaí in the area, who informed her that several fines had been issued to parking offenders over the course of the weekend.
A statement from the Garda Press Office stated that “An Garda Síochána put in place significant policing operations at various public locations over the course of the weekend. A number of Fixed Charged Notices have been issued in relation to illegal parking”.
“An Garda Síochána has and continues to appeal to the drivers of vehicles to ensure that they park legally and with consideration for other road users. Illegal parking can significantly impede the enjoyment of public spaces by other citizens and can impact the response of emergency vehicles attending incidents.”
Cllr Buckley raised the point for two reasons, the first was that she was concerned that when parking fines were being issued by the gardaí, no tickets were being left physically on cars to show that they were parked illegally. Instead, tickets will be issued over the coming days via post. This means that many will be oblivious to parking rules and therefore may not help to reduce the number of cars causing road blockages.
The second reason for highlighting the issue was to query where the money collected from fines goes, and whether it was possible for the local municipal district to receive so that it could be used internally for the local area.
Finally, Cllr Buckley noted that repainting of double yellow lines in certain parts of the areas just outside local beaches was needed to deter further illegal parking. She said that one trader in particular operating outside Myrtleville beach was taking up a large amount of space creating a “nightmare” situation.
In response, Council officials informed Cllr Buckley that the yellow lines would be done as soon as possible, but the contractor used is in high demand at this time and is not readily available. In reference to the destination of parking fines, much to her disappointment, Cllr Buckley was told that monies collected do not go to Cork County Council and as a result, aren’t available for local budget use.