VEHICLE towing needs to be reintroduced in Cork to tackle a culture of illegal parking in the city, a Green party councillor has said.
City Hall abandoned the practices of towing and clamping over seven years ago due to public concern over costs and contracts to private companies to carry out the service.
Councillor Dan Boyle will bring forward a motion in September asking for towing, but not clamping, to be reintroduced in order to stop people parking in bus lanes, cycle paths, in disability spaces and on footpaths
Mr Boyle told The Echo: “I think the problem with the previous policy was clamping in particular. Clamping to vehicles causing an obstruction is a contradiction in terms. It doesn’t deal with the problem.
“The idea would be to remove the obstruction as quickly as it occurs and that it’s cost-effective and those that engage in the bad parking meet the total cost of the service.
“After that, I’m open-minded to whether it would be a full-time service or not because the intent would be to create a culture where bad parking doesn’t exist.
“There is an attitude by some people that a bus lane or a cycle lane or a disability parking space don’t have the same importance as the general road and until we change that we are not going to stop bad parking.
“If you parked your car in the middle of the road, there would be consequences - the same should for cycle lanes, bus lanes and disability spaces.
“Rather, than leave the obstruction in place, I believe Cork City Council has the responsibility to remove it as quickly as possible,” Mr Boyle added.
The recently elected councillor also said parking violations on Sundays in the city centre need to be dealt with by having wardens on the streets.
“There’s awareness that the city council traffic warden scheme doesn’t operate on a Sunday. The Gardaí needs to be more effective in issuing fines but it’s quite understandable that they want to be doing more effective work in terms of stopping and solving crimes.
“Maybe City Council need to look at rostering people on a five day week that includes Sundays because certainly the idea that you can park badly on a Sunday has taken root and we need to get it out of people’s consciousnesses as quickly as possible,” Mr Boyle added.