COUNCILLORS were advised to ‘think long and hard’ before supporting a motion at this week’s Metropolitan District meeting calling for more traffic wardens.
Labour Party councillor Elena Secas proposed that the local authority appoint a full-time traffic warden specifically for the housing estates near the University of Limerick to tackle the parking issues in the area.
Council members were quick to support her motion, but one councillor suggested that they err on the side of caution.
Fianna Fáil councillor Kieran O’Hanlon was far from impressed with the new approach of the Council’s Traffic Management Services and had a bone to pick with new man in charge, Hugh McGrath.
Cllr O’Hanlon said residents living on Clare Street near the A1 Bar had recently received parking fines for parking illegally on the footpath. He told the Mr McGrath that some of these people had been living in the area for 50 years and always left adequate space for the public to walk or for bicycles to get by when parking.
“I am not impressed with the operational side at present. It was deplorable what happened outside the A1 Bar,” the former mayor declared.
”A common sense approach is needed. You have to be practical. Some of these people have been living here 50 years. There has been a change of policy since Rory McDermott left.
“One elderly man was given a ticket, that is a third of his pension taken from him,” he fumed.
Cllr O’Hanlon warned council members that if they supported Cllr Secas’ motion, they might end up regretting it.
In response, Mr McGrath, Senior Council Engineer, Transportation and Mobility, pointed out that he has seen between 50 and 65 cars parked illegally on Clare Street daily.
He asked whether traffic wardens should be allowed do their jobs or just go after the “soft targets” such as students.
Mr McGrath also explained that the local authority currently has eight traffic wardens within the city environs and one each of the municipal county districts.
Cllr Secas, speaking on her motion, suggested that if Mr McGrath spent a day in the estates around UL he would see what’s happening there and understand the need for enforcement.
”Come out and speak to some of those terrorised by traffic wardens,” Cllr O’Hanlon replied.