By Suzanne Pender
KILDARE County Council was accused of “bullyboy tactics” and urged to reimburse all the Carlow commuters hit with €80 parking fines at Junction 4, Castledermot, just off the M9.
The matter was reported in The Nationalist recently, where Carlow commuters who parked along the grass verge at Prumplestown, Co Kildare were stunned to be hit with fixed-charge notices at a location they’d parked at for years.
At last Monday’s meeting of Carlow County Council, councillors were highly critical of Kildare County Council’s measures and urged Carlow officials to write to their counterparts in Kildare, insisting that those fines be quashed.
“It’s bullyboy tactics,” remarked cllr John Pender. “People were parking there in good faith off the edge of the road. Some cars were ticketed, other weren’t, so there is a great amount of uncertainty about where you can and can’t park. I would insist that Kildare rescind those fines.
“Kildare County Council has a lot to answer for and I would ask the chief executive to discuss this urgently with the chief executive in Kildare,” he said.
Cllr Arthur McDonald said it was “not acceptable” that while “we preached about climate change”, people doing the right thing by car-pooling are punished. Cllr Fintan Phelan said the actions of Kildare had “penalised the people of Carlow”, while cllr John Cassin described the fines as “unfair and unjust” and called on Kildare County Council to rescind them.
Cllr Cassin had previously put forward a notice of motion calling for a designated park-and-ride facility at Prumplestown. He asked about progress on the matter and described it as “scandalous” for people coming home from a day’s work to find they had received a car-parking fine at a place they had been parking for years.
Cllr Pender added that he was also aware from management at Circle K, Rathcrogue that a “large-scale car-clamping system” was in operation.
“That means the only place to park for commuters is Tinryland GAA, who are very generously accommodating commuters,” he added.
Director of services Padraig O’Gorman confirmed that Carlow County Council had been in contact with motorway operators Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in relation to potential parking facilities around Carlow. He added that they were particularly engaged with TII in relation to Junction 5, which is within the remit of Carlow County Council.
“A review is going on; it will not be the case where there will be facilities at every junction, but we are making progress in our jurisdiction,” he added.
Council officials also agreed to write to Kildare County Council in relation to the fixed-charge notices issued at Prumplestown.