Facility out of bounds on Sundays and holiday weekends.
A STATE- of- the- art playground that opened to acclaim last year, is to close its gates on Sundays and holiday weekends due to parking issues and complaints that the road is unsafe while the facility is in open. It is claimed that the playground’s success has impinged local road users and neighbours as cars are parked on the roadside due to lack of space.
The Cratloe Community Playground CO-OP closed the access points in recent weeks for what they described as “indiscriminate parking”.
Residents have also said that “outsiders are sleeping overnight,” after Coilte removed the barrier to a car park.
Families fear that children will now suffer at the loss of the use of the amenity on certain days.
The group over the project say that the issue is now a matter of health and safety.
“Visitors are coming from far and wide and those who previously were regular visitors now stay longer.
“This has lead to vastly increased volumes of traffic.
“Cars are parking along both sides of the narrow roadway, which restricts movement of traffic, causing obstruction, which could hinder emergency vehicles
“There are other entrances to the woods available from the Meelick Gate (4km walk or cycle) or via the Grotto in Cratloe Village, (up the steps)”.
Almost €200,000 has been spent on the facility and residents say that they “can’t continue with the huge inconvenience on Sundays and holiday weekends”.
A number of residents have complained that they could not get in or out of their driveways.
The CO-OP group say that they are working closely with Coilte who are looking to increase the size and capacity of the car park.
But it is noted by local councillors that the issue is “very volatile,” and that “residents are very angry”. One said: “The playground was built in haste and without any consultation and an environmental impact study”.
The man, in his 50s, suggested that it should be closed and relocated if residents continue to experience problems.
He, along with other locals, fear if the car park is increased in size, anti-social behaviour will return.