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Passage West is ‘Drowning’ in Cars and Needs a Proper Car Park


Writes Leo McMahon

 

‘Passage West is drowning in cars and needs a proper car park’, declared Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) at the recent meeting of the county council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).


In a motion that was fully supported by fellow members, she urged that the MD, with the backing of the council, leave no stone unturned to achieving this for the town centre.


‘A car park would enable the Passage West Framework Plan and would allow both the residential and commercial functions of the town centre to grow and flourish’, said Cllr D’Alton.


In a report, MD officer Denise Kidney stated: ‘The MD has engaged with the council’s Property Section who advised there is no current plan to acquire land for a car park in Passage West. They have advised that they will engage with the Town Regeneration Unit to see if a new car park is included in any future regeneration plan. Once that is established, the MD will determine the next steps.’

Cllr Marcia D'Alton (Ind) says Passage West town centre badly needs a proper car park - Photo Leo McMahoh


Cllr D’Alton said there were planning applications to get buildings back into use in the town centre but there were refusals because there was no place for cars to go in the mainly old narrow streets with many dwellings on the street front.


It was extraordinary that the second biggest town in the MD with a population of around 6,000 had no proper public car park. There was only a small parking area on the site of the former fire station which was nearly always choc-o-bloc as well as the quayside.


While accepting there was limited land for a car park, Cllr D’Alton argued that part of the former convent site would be ideal.  The framework plan for Passage West was beautiful with widening of footpaths and some pedestrianisation but it could never get off the ground nor thrive as a residential and commercial hub without getting cars off the streets. From a strategic point of view, she urged the council to grasp any piece of land that became available should any opportunity for this arise.


In support, Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said they all realised how tight Passage West was for parking and with further proposals for a greenway, more spaces along the quay would be removed resulting in less parking.


Cllr Una McCarthy (FG) agreed with Cllr D’Alton saying that when there was parking, people tended to use the commercial offering, as seen by the coffee shop, pharmacy and Aldi on the outskirts.

Senior executive officer Maurice Murphy assured councillors that any future prospects for extra parking in Passage West would be looked at. A lot was happening and under consideration and the council would see if something could be levered from those involved. Cllr D’Alton asked that the matter be kept on the table.


Cllr D’Alton enquired about what had transpired regarding her motion at the previous meeting about derelict sites in the MD.


Ms Kidney said the list was still being finalised in conjunction with the Towns Regeneration Unit and the list should be live in a few weeks and on the agenda for the next meeting. The councillor welcomed this.


Cllr D’Alton also had a motion that in order to provide clarity to users, the old signage at the entrances to the greenway at Roberts Bridge and Toureen, Passage West be updated with the rules that are currently relevant.


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