The eCar charging bay in Ardee – located on the N2 side of the Fair Green in the town – is still being occupied by non-electric vehicle drivers using it as a parking spot causing local councillor Dolores Minogue to urge those responsible to stop.
Electric car owners in Ardee who use the facility – the only one of it’s kind in the town – to charge their vehicles have been making complaints to local councillors for some time about the ongoing issue.
Minogue has received a number of complaints from one electric car owner in particular who is continually denied the chance to charge his vehicle due to other non-electric cars blocking the space.
“If they can’t park their car at the charging station, they can’t charge it and if they can’t charge their car, they can’t do anything,” Minogue told ThisIsArdee.ie this week. “It’s infringing on their whole lifestyle by people just being lazy and parking their car there all day.
“The last thing I want to be doing is calling the Gardai and asking them to go and slap a fine on that car. But at the same time, this one vehicle owner shouldn’t be forced to go to elsewhere to charge their car.
“They should be able to go about their business like everybody else,” she continued. “Lessons need to be learned and everyone has to be tolerant. I understand their frustration. You’re trying to promote electric cars and their impact on the environment. If someone can’t use it, what’s the point of having it?”
“Hopefully those who park there will read this and be aware that there are people in the town that have an electric car and need access to the space,” Minogue added. “The car owner’s day-to-day business is restricted when a car parks there.”
Late last year, ThisIsArdee.ie received a call from another disgruntled electric car owner who regularly arrived at the charging port only to often find other cars parked in front of it, leaving access limited. Local electric car owners are heavily dependent on the charging port at the Fair Green. The nearest alternatives at in Carrickmacross and at the Applegreen M1 services at Castlebellingham.
Last week, the issue of why the EC Charging electic car space at the Fair Green had yet to be painted green, in line with other much points across the country was raised at the Ardee Muncipal District meeting. The meeting saw a dispute over who was actually responsible for painting the space. Council engineer Sean O’Reilly said it was EC Charging, but Jim Tenanty claimed he had contacted the company and they put the responsibility on the local authority.
The issue of parking around the Fair Green in Ardee is an ongoing one. Many of the spaces on the Irish Street side of the park are taken all day by workers in the town and those commuting to Dublin, pushing parents and children using the park to the Townparks side where the road is narrow and dangerous to navigate around.
In July last year, an attempt was made to get Louth County Council to provide signage asking people to leave spaces for parents and children using the playground, but the local authority said asking the public to do so was “unenforceable”, describing the issue as “a courtesy thing.”
Plans to borrow a traffic warden from Dundalk or Drogheda to patrol the streets in Ardee on certain days – in a bid to clamp down on all-day parking – has yet to come to fruition.