NAAS traders are about to embark on a scheme to ensure that people avoid being clamped or receiving a parking ticket when they park in the town.
If it goes ahead, so-called Parking Angels, will purchase an additional ticket after the original one expires if the owner has not returned to the vehicle.
Alternatively, they will offer to contact a shopper by phone if her or his ticket is about expire.
The idea was just one of a number aired at a meeting of Naas traders on Monday night last (October 15) at the Dandelion Market .
This Leinster Leader reporter was not allowed to attend the meeting although information was available afterwards.
The meeting was called by Dandelion Market operator Robert Mullee to “discuss all the issues facing retailers in Naas”.
In leaflet distributed to advertise the meeting, Mr. Mullee added: “We all know that paid parking and its enforcement is driving people out to the retail parks.
“We as traders are keeping the heart pumping in this town and we need to get together and work on solutions outside the box.”
No politicians were invited to the meeting which was attended by some 18 people.
Mr. Mullee told the Leader that if the Parking Angels idea goes ahead and prevents even one person from getting a ticket or being clamped it will be a help. He also pointed out that different parking rules apply to different car parks.
Some owners operate clamping which can cost up to E125 while the car park at the Naas Town Centre, which has 550 spaces, levies a maximum of E5.
“I just want to see more people come into the town. We need to bring more people in; if Naas Town Council cuts rates it will help businesses but it won’t bring in any more customers. We need to create a positive image for Naas and if we don’t then I won’t be here in January,” Mr. Mullee added.
He noted that Naas Town Council is providing some free parking for Christmas as well as harmonised trading hours and additional festive lighting but the real problem is parking.
“I see people come into the Dandelion Market and pretty soon they are looking at their watches for fear they will get a ticket or be clamped,” he added.
A second meeting of the traders is planned shortly.
- Paul O’Meara