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28 May 2022

Leitrim councillors says that disabled parking spaces must be clearly marked to avoid confusion

‘There are people parking in disabled spaces without permits’

Cllr Brendan Barry has requested that disabled parking spaces need to be clearly defined with white markings on a blue background noting: “The roadway needs to be blue so that there can be no doubt that it is a disabled parking space”.
Making his request at the March Council meeting Cllr Barry asked that this be done in all towns and villages observing: “People are unknowingly or otherwise using disabled parking spaces without having a (disabled) badge.”
He stressed the need for a recognised system of marking spaces and said that just putting a wheelchair mark on roads isn't sufficient.
The Sinn Féin councillor noted that his son uses a wheelchair and his wife has found that often disabled bays are not available and the vehicles parked in these bays are not carrying the disabled parking permit.
“I know that sometimes people just park in disabled bays but sometimes this is done unintentionally because these bays are not always well marked. In some cases the markings are faded,” he said.
Cllr Barry said that it was important to make the markings clearer before resorting to fining people who may have “genuinely made a mistake”.
Cllr Mary Bohan seconded the motion adding that parking in a disabled parking space when you are not entitled to do so “is the most despicable thing for anyone to do”.
“People are also parking on footpaths and blocking access for those in wheelchairs,” she said.
Cllr Sean McGowan asked that when the current streetscape works are completed in Carrick-on-Shannon, that proper blue marked spaces be put in place.
Cllr Finola Armstrong-McGuire also noted that some of the signage highlighting the presence of disabled parking is “particularly bad”. She said “we need to move with the people, with what is needed” and she called for more disabled parking spaces to be made available.
Responding, Director of Services, Joseph Gilhooly accepted that disabled parking bays needed to be clearly marked and acknowledged some required updating.
However he said that the accepted markings under current legislation is a white disabled persons’ parking bay symbol marked in white.
He said the provision of a blue background is not mandatory but additional signage can be erected to warn that areas are for disabled parking only.
“At present approximately 50% of these bays have blue surfacing (in Leitrim). However, in the new ‘Urban Renewal Works’ area in Carrick-on-Shannon Town centre, whilst it is proposed to indicate these bays with the parking symbol, and the parking Information sign, it is not proposed to put the blue surfacing on the new brick paving,” he said.
He said any areas of concern will be checked and lining updated as part of routine maintenance and said that increased community warden presence will also be used to address illegal parking.
Cllr Barry welcomed the news that lining of disabled parking will be addressed, although he expressed disappointment that the blue marking is not be utilised. He asked that the Council monitor the use of these newly marked bays to see they are being used properly or if additional marking is required.
This was seconded by Cllr McGowan.
Mr Gilhooly agreed that the situation will be monitored and the councillors will be kept updated.

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