A LEGAL precedent means that a disabled parking space in Bantry can be used by market traders every Friday.
The issue of whether or not the parking space could be used commercially was raised by Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District in Dunmanway.
Mac Dara O h-Icí, a senior executive officer with Cork County Council, explained that the area had already been designated under the new casual trading by-laws before it was painted blue, indicating a disabled parking space.
He said it was only when the car park in the area known as The Slob was being resurfaced that the Council decided to create a new disabled parking space at that end of town.
Mr O h-Icí said it could continue to be used by disabled motorists six out of the seven days and that another disabled parking space would be created in the Harbour View area, closer to the new SuperValu, which is due to open at the end of this month.
Cllr Hegarty said she believed it was an ‘unacceptable’ use of the space.
She said the Council had a duty to people with disabilities, but Mr O h-Icí said he believed that the casual trader who habitually uses the trading bay has ‘a blue pass.’
Area engineer, Ruth O’Brien, said the County Council was considering using the barrier that is already in situ to prevent anyone parking in The Slob car park on Friday because it is not safe to have pedestrian shoppers walking in and around moving cars.
Cllr Hegarty welcomed the fact that Bantry is experiencing a time of growth and transformation – everything from the €8m investment in the new marina to the building of a new SuperValu at Harbour View, and a Lidl at Newtown.
Cllr Hegarty said that the formation of a Council-led strategic committee to identify projects and oversee developments in Bantry had paved the way for some roads and car parks to be resurfaced, as well as an investment in street furniture at Wolfe Tone Square, and the upgrading of some of the town’s public conveniences.