'Boxer' announces €300k extension to car park at Longford town's Social Protection headquarters

Announcement comes ahead of visit of Minister Regina Doherty to county tomorrow

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Department of Social Protection Offices

Minister for the OPW Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has this evening announced a €300,000 investment aimed at extending car parking facilities at the Dept of Social Protection Offices in Longford town

One of Longford town's longest running parking dilemmas is set to come to an end thanks to a €300,000 cash injection from the Government.

Minister of State for the OPW and Longford/Westmeath TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has tonight announced an extension to the car park at Longford town's Department of Social Protection Offices.

The announcement comes ahead of a visit to the county tomorrow by Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty.

Minister Moran confirmed that the project is going to tender and the contract should be in place by the first quarter of 2018.

A proposal to redevelop an existing green area to provide a dedicated public car park was developed following on from meetings between Minister Moran’s Department’s Property Management Services, Department of Social Protection officials and the County Council, with agreement from the Road Safety Authority.

“It has been well recognised that there is a serious car parking issue around Longford Government Offices and I am delighted that my Department is in a position to make this announcement today,” said Minister Moran.

Planning Permission to extend the car park at Longford Government Offices was lodged with Longford County Council in September 2016 with permission subsequently being granted.

Minister Moran said the proposed works comprise of an expansion to the car park and other changes to the existing layout of the car park at Longford Government Buildings.

“This is to facilitate both staff and clients," he said.

"The Department of Social Protection is the largest client in the building, which also houses the Road Safety Authority and Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine Staff."

The proposed work includes:

• removing most of the grass area to the front of the building to create 30 new spaces.  

• Installation of a Truck Bay for the RSA.

• A new entrance to improve the flow of traffic and

• Improvements in access for emergency vehicles at the rear of the building.  

Minister Moran said the works are necessary as Government buildings, Longford is located in an area that is largely residential and has long-standing issues relating to inadequate parking.

“The parking situation deteriorated further in 2014 when the Intreo Centre opened at that location.  

"This Centre increased the number of public callers to the Office and it was essential that the parking issues were addressed,” said Minister Moran. “I received a lot of representations on the issue from local public representatives, including from Cllr Gerry Warnock who pressed the matter with me on a continuous basis.”

ALSO READ:

Plan to add around 100 parking spaces around Social Welfare building