Naas Main Street (file photo)
Business owners and their staff are parking for long periods in Poplar Square in Naas on Saturdays, when there is no charge.
A study into parking habits in the area, conducted as part of a report prepared for the pedestrianisation of part of the area, indicated that 15 parking spaces are occupied by the same vehicle for longer than four hours on a Saturday.
“This points to the use of free parking on Saturdays by motorists to park for extended periods,” the report states. Most of these (11) had an occupancy greater than 8 hours which suggests that these spaces are being used by business owners or staff.
The independent survey was undertaken on a Saturday and Tuesday. The report also examined the capacity of nearby car parks to absorb the displaced 16 spaces from Poplar Square when the €3m revamp of the area and Dublin Road gets underway. On the Tuesday — when free parking does not apply — only three vehicles stayed longer than four hours.
“This issue is relevant to the objections to the removal of the parking spaces in Poplar Square as there are effectively 11 on-street spaces on Saturday currently unavailable to the general public,” the report says.
It further says that the Hedderman's car park has 107 spaces and is within a 5 minute walk for “all vulnerable road users (the elderly and children)”. It also points to the availability of the Town Centre car park and the former Superquinn overflow car park, which are privately operated. Nevertheless many businesses in the area objected to the loss the car park spaces with one, West Country Carpets, predicting possible closure.