Fresh calls for blanket free parking in Longford over Christmas

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford

There are calls for local authority officials to waive parking fees throughout the entire festive holiday season.

Longford shoppers will have the luxury of availing of free off street car parking in the main county town in the lead up to Christmas amid renewed calls last week for the charges to be waived throughout the entire festive period.

Longford County Council have agreed to afford motorists parking in off street car parks free gratis over the course of four Saturdays running from December 1, 8, 15 and 22.

ALSO READ: Councillors put a positive spin on paid parking

The same rule will also be applied on Friday November 30 when a group of visitors from from Longford's twinning town in France, Noyal-Chatillon-Sur Seiche fly in for the annual switching on of the Christmas lights.

In a move similar to arrangements put in place last year, free parking in off street car parks will be in place from December 22 to January 2 inclusive.

The announcement was relayed to elected members at last week's meeting of Longford Municipal District which resulted in fresh calls for paid parking to be rolled out throughout Longford town during the holiday season.

Fianna Fáil's Joe Flaherty led that appeal as he asked that the Council provide a report in January of the estimated loss of income if free on street parking was provided over the same dates.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Seamus Butler cautioned against rolling out such a measure, saying unless parking charges are enforced on street the likelihood of cars being left outside business premises for extended lengths of time was all the more probable.

Cllr Flaherty responded, saying it was common knowledge “half the people in Lanesboro” were opting to do their shopping in Roscommon due to its liberal paid parking laws.

One of those to support Cllr Flaherty in his appeal was Independent Cllr Mae Sexton.

A long time critic of the charges, Cllr Sexton said shoppers had become increasingly frustrated with the charges, adding she was not overly hopeful of avoiding being hit with a parking ticket of her own.
“Don't worry, we (councillors) will all come down and support you at the District Court,” Cllr Butler impishly replied.