Paper parking tickets may return to highlight illegal parking in the city

Gardai are considering a return to placing physical tickets on illegally parked vehicles in the city in order to underline the problem of illegal parking, it emerged this week.

At a meeting of the city's joint policing committee several members raised the issue of illegal parking around the city, which they said was causing congestion and inconveniencing other road users on a regular basis.

Mayor of Galway Frank Fahy said that cars illegally parked in Forster Street on Sunday had caused congestion in Eyre Square on the day. The mayor, who is also a taxi driver, said he saw such incidents in the city on a daily basis but rarely saw tickets. "It's unacceptable in my book that anybody should park on a footpath and discommode someone in a wheelchair that they have to go out on the road," he added. "It's an issue I want addressed."

Cllr Colette Connolly requested that the gardai adopt a "zero tolerance" approach to illegal parking in the city, something that Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said would require "a minimum of 1,000 guards" to implement. Cllr Connolly said the issue was causing serious problems for road users and residents, particularly in Salthill and on the Dyke Road during matches, and near schools at pick-up and drop-off times.

Cllr Donal Lyons, meanwhile, pointed to a problem on Dr Colohan Road where people were being fined for parking where there were no double yellow lines. Cllr Lyons asked for the road markings to be extended to prevent this confusion. "People think they've parked legally," he said. "I've had several representations, it's unfair and we should rectify it. It's causing a lot of frustration among motorists at the moment where they think they're parking legally, and they're not, and they're getting tickets."

Chief Superintendent Curley said it was most disappointing that illegal parking was still an issue in the city, but the gardai would look at ways to counter it, including a return to physical tickets on windscreens as "a preventative measure". Tickets have been issued electronically in the city for some time.

"We are looking at going back to issuing small tickets so people will see there was activity there by gardai or traffic warden," he added. "It could be a preventative measure. Tickets are being issued for illegal parking but we will have to issue more and we will take that on board."

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