Call to use Black Ash car park for camper vans

Call to use Black Ash car park for camper vans

A bus leaving the Black Ash Park & Ride near Kinsale Road, Cork. Some councillors argue the facility could generate income if campsite facilites were built there. Picture: Denis Minihane

TOURISM officials in Cork city are assessing the potential for campervan parking in the city.

It is understood that the Black Ash park and ride facility at the Kinsale Road is one of the potential sites in question, though costings for facilities have yet to take place.

Several members of Cork City Council have called on the local authority to find better uses for the facility, which is reported to be losing approximately €250,000 per annum.

While use at the facility has increased this year, it is still falling some way short of the heights it hit a number of years ago.

The 900-space facility welcomed more than 30,000 vehicles in the first quarter of the year, generating €155,000 in income.

This is €5,000 more than the city had budgeted for, though elected members still claim that it is a missed opportunity.

Fianna Fáil councillor Seán Martin has urged the city to explore the possibility of establishing campervan facilities, such as power and water points, at the Black Ash facility near the Kinsale roundabout.

Mr Martin said that other sites throughout the county are generating significant funds for owners and operators.

He said, "There are people running green and brownfield sites throughout the county who have dozens of camper vans parking up every night.

"If they can make money from it, then surely it's not beyond our capabilities to do the same?"

A report from the city's roads division didn't rule out the possibility of using the park and ride for campervans, but noted that it currently is not capable of doing so.

It said, "There are no formal facilities on the site for the accommodation of people or camper vans overnight. The specification and costing for the additional facilities necessary to accommodate camper vans has not been assessed.

"The tourism section of Cork City Council is, however, currently reviewing possible locations within the city for camper van parking in conjunction with camper groups and the park and ride will be considered as part of this process."

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