New regulations governing the use of disabled car-parking spaces in Kilkenny City may be on the way.
Councillors have expressed concern that some motorists are taking advantage of the availability of all-day free parking in disabled spaces, disenfranchising other disabled drivers, who are being forced to go elsewhere.
“We have spaces for people with disabilities, but there are only a certain number of them,” said Cllr Paul Cuddihy (FG).
“I would propose that we have a two-hour time restriction in place for disabled spaces in the centre of Kilkenny.”
Cllr Cuddihy also called for the introduction of a new kind of parking space for outside certain clinics and medical centres, to improve accessibility for people with mobility difficulties. People bringing a friend or relative for their treatment sometimes struggle to find a convenient stopping place – particularly if the person requires assistance.
“I think we should allocate certain spaces with a 15-minute drop-off point,” said Cllr Cuddihy.
This idea was welcomed by other councillors.
“I formally second Cllr Cuddihy’s proposal, it is an issue close to my own heart,” said Cllr John Coonan (FF).
“I would also make an appeal for the public’s [mis]use of disabled parking spaces to cease. There is nothing more hideous than an able-bodied person parking in a disabled space.”
Senior engineer for Kilkenny County Council Kieran Fitzgerald added his approval of Cllr Cuddihy’s proposal.
“The two-hour time limit on disabled spaces in the city centre is a good idea,” he said.
“The set-down spaces I think would be a welcome development as well. We will talk to the medical centre themselves about the idea of a 15-minute drop-off point.”