File photo: Sallins
Sallins is descending into parking chaos caused largely by commuters taking trains to the capital every day.
Local resident and Fianna Fail TD James Lawless says the car park serving the station car park is ”massively” oversubscribed. Some commuters who have already pre-booked spaces to park in find that there are none available when they arrive in Sallins.
There is officially room for 100 cars there. But another 60 cars also pile into the facility, according to newly-revealed Irish Rail figures, making it one of the most overcrowded train station car parks operated by company anywhere in the country.
Local businessman Barry Flanagan has has posted social media images of vehicles parked in the area around his premises.
He said the congestion demonstrated the lack of car parking spaces available in the town.
Mr. Flanagan is the proprietor of the Lock 13, pub/restaurant and micro brewery. He said he believes that most of the congestion, which is worst on weekdays, is caused by commuters, who have nowhere else to park. He has called on Kildare County Council to implement the new parking byelaws.
“It’s very difficult to get a parking space in or around my business between Monday and Friday but it’s a different story at weekends and I think this is because people are parking on the street because there is not enough room in the railway station car park,” Mr. Flanagan told the Leader.
He also said that he has been forced to lay off five people because of downturn in trade. “It affects my business when people park at 7am and don’t come back until 6pm,” Mr Flanagan added.
Dep. Lawless, a frequent user of the train service, said that after about 7.30am all the regular spots are taken.
“People end up parking in between other cars, on the kerbs, in common areas and in every conceivable free space.”
The lack of space leaves people with little choice but on many occasions the situation is approaching unsafe levels.”
Dep. Lawless said he would fear for an emergency vehicle trying to access the car park because the overcrowding makes movement very difficult.
He said the situation is now at “breaking point” and he wants Minister for Transport Shane Ross to provide money to pay for a car park extension.
There are “a few land options” available to Irish Rail. Another possible solution is the opening of the car park at The Waterways complex.
Fergus Carpenter, Labour Party rep and chairman of Sallins Community Council said reducing the cost of travel for commuters inevitably led to increased demand for parking. Kildare County Council expects to implement new two hour parking limits this week.