Cork County Council to Review Traffic Warden Service to Aid Towns and Villages

By Seamus Whelehan

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Cork County Council is to carry out an assessment of its Traffic Warden Service in order to provide support to An Garda Siochána in towns and villages who currently do not have a Warden.  The move comes following a request by Fianna Fail Cllr Padraig O’Sullivan to create parity in towns and villages across the County.

In the majority of towns in Cork County drivers who illegally park reasonably fear returning to their vehicle to find a ticket slapped on the windscreen.   In towns like Midleton and Carrigtwohill, however, where there is no Traffic Warden on patrol, cars are frequently parked on single and double yellow lines, on footpaths and at junctions.

Cllr O’Sullivan told Monday’s Southern Committee meeting that the problem was particularly bad in Carrigtwohill where “the Main Street is restricted to one lane in the morning and afternoon coinciding with school pick up and drop off times.”   Carrigtwohill based Cllr Anthony Barry agreed with Cllr O’Sullivan claiming drivers are taking advantage of free for all parking because of the lack of enforcement.   The Fine Gael Cllr said he couldn’t understand why Carrigtwohill could not borrow the Cobh Warden for a number of hours a month to help.

In a written report to Council Mary Ryan, Authority Director of Services, Municipal District Operations and Rural Development said “Traffic Wardens operate in towns that control parking through pay parking, or a combination of parking bye-laws and/or parking controls.”  However it emerged during the debate that there are other towns that do not have paid parking, but have a Traffic Warden employed to ensure the continuous traffic flow and turnover of parking spaces, to enhance the commercial life of their area.

At present Bantry, Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Macroom have a Warden in place, but do not operate a paid parking regime.  Sean O’Callaghan, one of the County Senior Executive Officers, said while a review of the Traffic Warden Service has not taken place in a number of years he was “willing to undertake an assessment of towns where a Warden Service is not provided, to look at alternative structures, to assist Gardaí in enforcing parking controls.”   He said whatever solution Council agree “would have to be cost effective.”

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