New parking times and charges criticised

New parking times and charges criticised
The new parking tiome changes around the Mercy Hospital and its side streets have been criticised. Picture: Larry Cummins

CONTROVERSIAL new parking charges in the Middle Parish have come under fire once more.

City councillor Kenneth Collins has urged the local authority to roll back on new charges at the Mercy University Hospital.

Mr Collins described the charges as 'scandalous' and has called for a common sense approach to be taken when making the changes.

The new charges come into effect on April 18 and will see on-street pay parking reduced from two hours to one hour to facilitate spaces for local residents.

The pay parking regime has also been extended from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, while North Main Street car park will now open seven days a week to accommodate those in the area.

The moves are designed to 'ensure some level of available spaces, to reduce congestion on the street network and to support the needs of residents' according to Cork City Council.

The measures, which were approved by city councillors last year when they voted to proceed with the City Centre Movement Strategy, extend as far as the Mercy University Hospital, as well as covering the likes of Bachelor's Quay, Grattan Street, Liberty Street and Sheare's Street.

Mr Collins said that he accepts the need for strict parking measures in residential areas, but questioned the need for restrictions at the hospital.

"We need to roll back the charges in and around the Mercy Hospital area," Mr Collins said.

"I understand the reason for the charges in the other parts of the Middle Parish - residents have concerns about the additional parking - but people using the Mercy shouldn't be penalised."

The Sinn Féin representative said that hospital patients, visitors and, even, staff are all going to suffer under the new parking regime.

He is set to submit a motion to the City Council in the coming weeks calling for the removal of parking restrictions at Grenville Place and the streets adjacent to the Mercy University Hospital.

"Just as far as Little Hanover Street," he added.

"I am not talking about the residential areas where there are problems with people parking outside homes and causing obstructions to residents."

Reinstating the old regime of two-hour disc parking which ends at 6.30pm in these areas would solve the issue, he added.

"We are a council that needs to look after everyone. These changes mean that patients attending this hospital for treatments or anybody visiting them only has an hour to get in and out before changing a disc.

"The old regime of two hours wasn't perfect, but it was much better.

"Medical staff are also going to be hit as a result of these charges and it just doesn't add up to me."

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