A SWIMMING group – known as ‘the seven ducks’ – have complained that wall-to-wall double yellow lines is making it hard for them to access The Strand in Bantry.
Teresa Armstrong – a 73-year-old woman who needs a hip and a knee replacement – said she has been ticketed for parking on double yellow lines close to the Railway Pier
She said it was the ticket – issued by the gardaí – that brought her attention to the fact that the lines have been extended all along the roadway leading to the pier, The Strand, and the hugely popular Beicin Walk.
A lot of money has been spent in the area in recent years. Cork County Council recently completed a project to protect the seaside walk and resurface it. Funding was also spent – as part of a major marina project – to reclaim land and create a green amenity.
But Teresa Armstrong suggested that the Council needs to go back to the drawing board to create adequate parking close to the beach.
She suggested that a Council-owned site, which is currently being used to accommodate donkeys, could be utilised for parking.
‘A group of seven of us go swimming every day in the summer,’ she told The Southern Star, ‘and with the 5km travel restrictions a lot more people are using The Strand and the Beicin.’
There are exercise machines there too, and lots of older people use to keep fit. An enterprising person has also established a kayak for hire business at the pier.
Since the double yellow lines were extended, Teresa said there are now only five permissible parking spaces near the pier and, sometimes, these are taken up during daylight hours by workers on Whiddy.
‘I went there yesterday,’ said Teresa, ‘and I couldn’t get a spot.’ The nearest car park, adjacent to the SuperValu supermarket, is about a five-minute walk away, but Teresa said that with her hip and knee impediments it takes her about 20 minutes. And while walking is difficult, swimming does wonders for her ailments.
She said the real problem is that older people need to carry things like deckchairs, which are deemed ‘a necessity’ because of the level of dog fouling on the beach.
Mothers with pushchairs, and all the paraphernalia that goes with a day out at the beach for young children, are also in need of parking in the vicinity of The Strand,’ she added. ‘Lots of people have swum at The Strand all their lives because it is the safest place to swim.’