IT IS TIME for Cork City Council to return to the practice of towing illegally parked vehicles, according to a Green Party city councillor.
The council used to tow illegally parked vehicles but stopped in 2011.
Councillor Dan Boyle said that the illegal parking situation is “out of control” in Cork city and that people needed to be held accountable.
Recently, The Echo highlighted people parking their cars on footpaths and in cycle lanes. Currently, those who park illegally can be issued with a parking fine, as opposed to being clamped or towed.
However, the council’s senior management team have said re-instating the towing policy is not feasible.
Cllr Boyle put in a motion, asking ‘that this Council re-institute a policy of towing away vehicles (of any type) causing obstruction to other users of the public realm’. But an October report on the motion from the Council’s Director of Operations outlined the reasons against the policy.
“It was not a cost-effective arrangement to manage the on-street parking facilities in the city and more importantly it created a negative perception of the city and the city’s strategy of encouraging people to shop, socialise, and work in the city with the consequential impact on traders and businesses,” the report stated. “Having regard to the current operations and impact of alternative arrangements on the city it is not recommended that towing of vehicles be implemented as a city-wide enforcement tool.”
Speaking to The Echo, Cllr Boyle explained why he is in favour of towing.
Cllr Boyle suggested costs should be covered by the offender and said it was time to have equal concern for all road users, not just drivers.
“There is a fear of being seen as coming down too heavy on motorists. There’s also fear about the impact towing cars would have on shopping,” he said. “This ignores the people who walk, cycle or take a bus. The use of the roadways should be democratic. There’s no sense of urgency when it comes to removing a car parked in a bike lane or bus lane. If a car was parked in the middle of the road, it would be moved on quite quickly.
“This bad behaviour needs to be called out. When people park their cars on pavement, they impede pedestrians, those with disabilities, parents with buggies. Public transport is also affected when cars park on bus lanes.
“The council is somewhat indifferent towards these other road users. This is not a position we should be taking.”