The issue of parking and seeing a turnover of car-parking spaces in the town centre is something that has been a topic of most major towns in recent times. Ballina Town Council has decided to implement a zoned parking system with three different parking zones with different pricing structures for each zone.
The elected members of the town council were presented with a discussion document on the proposed changes at Wednesday night’s monthly meeting of the council by acting town manager Paul Benson. The plans would see the creation of three zones in the town, one coloured red (zone one ) in the centre of the town, one coloured amber (zone two ) outside the town centre, and one coloured green (zone three ) taking in all other areas in the town.
In zone one parking would be charged at 60c per hour both on street and in car parks, in zone two it would cost 45c per hour on both, and in zone three the cost would be 30c per hour. If you purchased a zone one parking ticket it would entitle you to park in area in the town as long as there was time left on the ticket, a zone two ticket enables you to park in either zone two or three, while a zone three ticket is valid for that zone only. The price of a monthly car park ticket would be €45 for zone one (not including the Market Street or Pearse Street car parks ), €35 for zone two, and €10 for zone three. In addition the daily charge for parking in zone two would be €2, and €1 for zone three.
The zone one core town centre area would take in Casement Street, Connolly Street (from Tolan Street to Casement Street ), Emmett Street car park, Jim Brownes Lane, Market Street, Market Square car park, O’Rahilly Street, Pawn Office Lane, Pearse Street, Pearse Street Car Park, Teeling Street, Tolan Street, Tone Street, and Walsh Street.
There was general agreement with the idea of the zoned parking by the elected members who agreed that the council should get a new set of bylaws drafted for these changes so they could go out to public submission as soon as possible. They also encouraged that members of the public should make submissions on the new bylaws.
The only matter of disagreement from councillors was the potential of looking at charging for parking seven days a week rather than the current six days, with Sunday having free parking. Mayor Johnny O’Malley questioned whether it would be something worth looking into, as Sunday was now a very busy day in town which was giving an advantage to the multinational shops which were the ones that tended to open on a Sunday. He also suggested that if there was a Sunday parking charge, it could bring the price of parking for the rest of the week down to an even lower figure. His party colleague, Cllr Willie Nolan, said that he rejected the idea of charging for parking on a Sunday completely, saying it was not a legacy the council should want to leave.