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A “massive loss of revenue” is being incurred by Clare County Council due to its management of parking in Kilkee which is also affecting the ability of emergency services to access the area, a local representative has claimed.

Lack of governance of parking spaces in Kilkee is seeing Clare County Council miss out on up to €100,000 per annum, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) has calculated, an amount which would prove very helpful in funding projects and adding resources in the county.

Current parking by laws were criticised by the Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District. “It is a massive loss of revenue to Clare County Council,” he told The Clare Echo. “We have a lot of parking spaces in coastal towns that are not governed, the loss of this revenue stream is secondary to health and safety. We are told we have to maximise our income capacity around the time of every local property tax but here is a clear opportunity to derive a better income stream”.

In Kilkee alone, he estimated that €100,000 has not been collected from an irregular policing of parking tickets. “It is impossible to quantify, there are an awful lot of car parking in places where it is free. Given the level of service provided by Clare County Council this summer in managing the crowds to the county, people will understand that there is a cost on the other side”.

At the September meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Cllr Murphy sought a review of the parking by-laws in Kilkee “as a matter of urgency to ensure access for emergency services to the slipway”.

Rescue services were unable to access an incident on the slip in recent months due to some of the parking in the coastal location, he cautioned. “If this was a matter of people escaping parking tickets that is one thing but it is not, the fire brigade couldn’t access the slipway during the summer which is a real issue”.

Senior executive engineer, Alan Kennelly insisted the maintaining access to the slipway was “a key priority” for the local authority. He confirmed that a draft traffic-layout proposal for the pier and slipway is to be prepared. This revised layout will be incorporated into the parking by-laws for Kilkee.

Currently parking by-laws apply to the East End car park in Kilkee. It is expected that revised by-laws will apply to more areas including the town centre and the Diamond Rocks car park. “Any review will require the preparation of a traffic management plan to ensure the free-flow of traffic. Public consultation will be an essential and vital part of the review process,” Kennelly added.

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