A delegation from residents living in Maynooth town centre has strongly appealed to Kildare County Council to change its proposed parking bye-laws.
They have asked the council to suspend the process until appropriate legislation is there to protect the needs of residents, many of whom have lived in the area for decades.
Council officials said they will have a close look at their concerns but Director of Services, Peter Minnock, said the council would have to do the best for Maynooth as a whole.
At the February 17 meeting of the Celbridge area committee, held in Castletown House, councilors heard that elderly residents of the Lyreen area are so concerned that they have been attending meetings of the residents association. “People in their 80s and 90s have gone to meetings because they are so upset,” said a member of the delegation.
They say Maynooth is not like Celbridge where residential parking arrangements there are said to have worked for St. Patrick’s Park, in the town centre.
It is feared that up to 20 residential spaces will be lost.
Elderly citizens fear the parking restrictions will lead to people stopping the traditional habit of dropping in for social reasons.
“It is going to be wiped out,” councillors were told.
They also worry that carers, doctors and nurses will find it difficult to visit and get parking.
They believe there will be health and safety issues and that car insurance premiums will rise because their vehicles will have to be parked elsewhere.
The visitors permit conditions are seen as way too restrictive, said the delegation, which is seeking further consultation.
They are unhappy with the proposed spaces and believe these will lead to the blocking of premises.
One of the delegation, Maynooth Community Council member, Deirdre Cullen, said the bye-laws are being introduced to help business but the proposals for the Lyreen area cannot provide a solution to Maynooth’s business problems. “We live there,” she said.
Ms Cullen said the proposals are ill thought out. “It has killed Leixlip,” the meeting heard. “We urge you as humans to look at the plans again,” the delegation said.
Mr Minnock said the council would take on board the concerns of the delegation but ultimately it had to do what is right for Maynooth.