THE issuing of 51 parking fines in one day in a Castletroy estate has been described as “mean-spirited” by local residents.
Limerick City and County Council confirmed that up to 51 parking fines were issued on Wednesday, October 12 in an effort to clamp down on students parking illegally in one Castletroy estate.
The flag was first raised by local Aontú representative Eric Nelligan, who criticised Green Party councillor Seán Hartigan who he accused of urging the Council and Gardaí to punish students for parking on footpaths near the University of Limerick (UL).
“The recent issuing of fines was a mean-spirited action that will serve to undermine confidence and rapport between students and the local elected representatives, Gardaí, and Council,” Mr Nelligan told the Limerick Post, noting that, in his view, “nothing can be gained by these fines”.
Cllr Hartigan has brought the issue of illegal parking in Castletroy estates to the Council’s attention at a number of local authority meetings.
A recent video shot by the City East representative and posted on Twitter shows cars parked in Oaklawns in Castletroy, with around 15 illegally parked in one area alone.
“People with disabilities, children, the elderly and parents with buggies have to walk on the road in this estate and others nearby. Paths built and maintained with public money are being used to store private cars,” Cllr Hartigan pointed out.
“Authorities refuse to take action. In Limerick the car is king, the safety of pedestrians is not a priority. I have brought this to the attention of the University, Limerick Council, and Gardaí over the last few years.”
In response, the local authority stated that “Limerick City and County Council issued 51 tickets in the Castletroy area. The Council only issues tickets to those cars which are parked illegally.”
Meanwhile, UL told the Limerick Post that it works closely with stakeholders in the community, including students living off-campus, residents’ associations, Limerick City and County Council, and An Garda Síochána, to promote good relations between ‘town and gown’.
A representative of the university said the launch of a new bus route by the NTA that will bring the campus “improved coverage and a more direct route than previous services”.
Mr Nelligan attributes overcrowding at the university as the main contributor to the parking issues in surrounding estates.
“We’ve come to a situation in UL where the numbers attending have continued to grow but the necessary infrastructure to support the third level institution has not. The number of people commuting to Plassey has doubled, however the infrastructure to access Plassey and its environs has remained the same since the 1990s.”