Local councillor Dolores Minogue says she has been told a traffic warden will begin to patrol the streets in Ardee on random days starting next week.
ThisIsArdee.ie reported earlier in the year that Louth County Council were looking to borrow a traffic warden from nearby towns Dundalk or Drogheda to come to Ardee and walk the streets to combat car owners who abuse the current two-hour free parking bylaws that exist on the main street.
This move is to stop some car owners from parking for longer periods – often all day – in the zones, restricting shoppers, service users or locals who want to avail of amenities. It is seen as a particular problem on the north end of the town, at the Fair Green.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie today, Minogue said council officials have informed her that a traffic warden is on the way and they will start making random visits to Ardee as of next Tuesday. The local authority hope this will go some way to alleviating the problem.
“A traffic warden is coming into Ardee next week to help with the problem of all-day parking,” Minogue said. “Is it welcomed? No, but is it necessary? Yes.”
“Parents and grandparents will have more access to the park which has proven a problem. Also, for people on the Dundalk side of the park, their cars can often be blocked in and they can’t get out. So, it should help.
“The town is choc-a-bloc at any given time and we’re fighting to get an Ardee bypass. If you sit in traffic for a long period of time, you end up having to come into town and not being able to get a parking space. It’s very frustrating for the person coming into town to shop.
“At this minute in time, Dundalk and Drogheda are offering reduced rates for parking ahead of Christmas. Thank god that’s not something Ardee has to worry about this year but while pay parking went, it has to be replaced with something,” she continued.
The Fine Gael councillor says the traffic warden – an existing employee of Louth County Council – will visit on random days in the lead up to Christmas and on an ongoing basis, depending on how well of a deterrent the move proves.
“There will be traffic wardens patrolling the town on random days. It’s not a welcome thing, but it is a happy medium. We don’t want pay-parking but we can’t have a free for all. We have to have some structure for our town.
“They will be looking for all-day parkers, those parked on double yellow lines, parking on disability bays with no permit. There’s not many towns in Ireland that even has two-hour free parking, she added. “I want to make the public aware that this is the beginning of it.”
The issue of all-day parking, especially at areas such as the Fair Green in Ardee, has been raised countless times at Municipal District level but no solutions to the ongoing problem have forthcoming. A lack of parking spaces around the Fair Green playground has raised concern among parents who feel they can’t park close enough to the facility with young children in tow.
Parking all day in Ardee break the bylaws that were brought in by the council in 2014. With no traffic warden currently employed in Ardee – since pay parking was abolished – the responsibility to police the two-hour limit falls on the Gardai but they claim a lack of manpower limits their ability to do this.