A 70-YEAR-OLD man with a disability has accused Cork County Council of ‘setting a bad example’ by allowing disabled parking spaces in Bantry to be used for commercial purposes.
Last November, The Southern Star reported that Cork County Council had agreed that the two disabled parking spaces at a recently surfaced car park at Harbour View could be used by market traders every Friday because of a legal precedent.
But Jerry Brennan from Dunmanway – who walks with a stick and has a permit allowing him to park in disabled spaces – said Friday is the day that he and his wife like to travel to the town, especially during the summer months.
It was during a visit to Bantry, last Friday, that he saw the practice of allowing market traders use the disabled parking spaces in operation and he said it annoyed him.
He told The Southern Star: ‘I think it is grossly unfair that they allow traders to set up their stall on disabled parking bays.’
He said these two spaces are particularly well-situated for people who have a disability because it allows them to use a footpath that is directly-linked to the town’s public conveniences.
‘It means you don’t have to cross a busy road. And there is also a pedestrian crossing that gives you access to the town’s main square.’
He added that it was important to highlight the issue and he called on Cork County Council to allow the disabled parking bays to be used by people with legitimate disability permits.
He said: ‘I think Cork County Council is setting a bad example because in every other town in the country these disabled parking bays are respected.’
The local authority was contacted for a comment and a spokesperson said: ‘Cork County Council wish to advise that there are two disabled bays which are in an area which is designated in the by-laws as trading bays.’
He continued: ‘Like all other parking spaces, they cannot be used for parking of vehicles on days when there is trading.’