Ferrybank car park is ‘detrimental’ to business – Wexford People, May 7 2016

The introduction of 24 hour paid parking system at Ferrybank is having a ‘detrimental’ effect on businesses in the area since it was introduced at the beginning of 2016.

In January, Wexford County Council brought in a 24-hour parking system to the public car park, meaning that users are now required to pay €2 an hour after 6.30 p.m., on Sundays and on bank holidays. According to Manager of the Riverbank House Hotel Colm Campbell, the change has had a ‘detrimental effect’ on their business.

‘It is having a negative effect on all aspects of our business,’ he said. ‘It’s hard to measure but I’m using the daily bar food sales as a guide and that’s where I am seeing a reduction. I fully appreciate that a system needs to be there but it’s just not a level playing field.’

According to Colm, the new system is creating other problems in the area.

‘It’s causing congestion and promoting illegal and bad parking,’ he said.

The area is also home to Wexford Bridge Centre, whose members are also being affected by the system.

‘We did have parking available on the same basis as everywhere in the town in the past. Inevitably, people were a bit hot under the collar when the changes were introduced,’ said Chairman of the Bridge Centre committee Maurice Brosnan. ‘We have only about 20 odd spaces so now our members are coming up to an hour beforehand to ensure that they get a parking space.’

Although he said it is creating difficulties, Maurice said that the new system hasn’t affected their participation numbers.

Mr Campbell said that he approached Cllr George Lawlor with his concerns. At the Wexford Borough District meeting last week, Cllr Lawlor raised the issue with his fellow councillors.

‘I was taken aback when I was told we were going to be charging after hours and on Sunday,’ he said. ‘I don’t think we would have voted further parking tariffs if we knew that. We were given the commitment that it wouldn’t be that way.’

Mayor of Wexford Cllr Ger Carthy said that the situation was ‘unfair’ to one business. Cllr Davy Hynes also said it was a problem, saying that the parking situation at Ferrybank should be the same as anywhere else. District Manager Tony Larkin said that it is not ideal but said it is too inefficient for them to put in the manpower to get the barrier raised at certain times.

Cllr Lawlor queried whether a computerised system could not be used to raise the barrier at certain times but this idea was not deemed a solution.

Mr Campbell from The Riverbank House Hotel said that he was aware that no changes were made at the meeting.

‘I hope sense will eventually prevail,’ he said. ‘I’m not looking for special treatment. I want a level playing field so my business is equal to any other.

(First published in the Wexford People newspaper: print edition. Also available online at: http://www.wexfordpeople.ie/news/ferrybank-car-park-is-detrimental-to-business-34694000.html)