herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Footpath parking ban may be lifted to solve city jams

PLANS to lift a ban on footpath parking could be used to solve congestion on Dublin's streets.

The city council hired consultants after many residents complained they had nowhere to park.

Their report said parking on footpaths is illegal in Ireland under the 1997 Traffic and Parking Regulations.

"As with other countries the legal situation is not always common knowledge as enforcement of the law in this area has not always been priority," the document states.

Car ownership in the city and county rose by 41pc between 1997 and 2005, with further rises in subsequent years.

As a result, there are more residents seeking on-street parking than there are spaces in some areas.

The problem is acute where there are cycleways and bus lanes or where the road is too narrow.

The council acknowledges that, in these areas, residents believe they have no choice but to park partially on the footpath or on a grass verge.

But it admits the clamping of private cars parked in this way "is highly unpopular and it generates enormous resentment towards the city council".

The consultants looked at other jurisdictions, including England, where it is not an offence to park on footpaths.

It stated, however, that "notices can be issued if pedestrians or wheelchair users are prevented from moving freely".

The company identified a series of health and safety problems when people park on footpaths, including pedestrians being forces to walk on the road and reducing the space available for wheelchair users.

The consultants said if footpath parking was permitted, the number of locations where it would be suitable in Dublin city "may be fairly limited".

It stated footpaths are primarily for pedestrians and, in Dublin, they are generally two metres or less in width so "would not be suitable for footpath parking".

The report was discussed at a meeting of the council's transport and traffic strategic policy committee at City Hall.

comurphy@herald.ie

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