By Joan Pollard Carew
Thurles Traders Unite are adamant that high street shopping in Thurles will stand the test of time. This energetic group of traders most running their own family businesses is a well-focused group.
Our scheme of refunding parking fees to our customers has been implemented in most high street shops. To facilitate customers Thurles Traders Unite, are suggesting that all shops open on the three Sundays prior to Christmas, 4th, 11th and 18th, December.
Mr. Michael Ryan, Town Clerk, Thurles Town Council just this afternoon Monday 21st November, responded to our deputation of 7th November, regarding half hour free parking, re introducing parking discs (which traders would purchase from the Town Council and give free of charge to our customers) also the date for turning on of the Christmas lights on our high streets. However he did not respond to our concern regarding traffic management and the unnecessary traffic lights and their poor location.
Mr. Michael Ryan, Town Clerk has confirmed in writing that there is a ten-minute grace period for parking which the traffic wardens will allow.
The following is the response, by Thurles Town Clerk received today, by Thurles Traders Unite.
“I refer to your meeting with Thurles Town Council on Monday 7th. November 2011.
I wish to advise you that the Council has decided to:
* Allow free parking in the car parks on the four Saturdays prior to Christmas (3rd, 10th. 17th. and 24th. December 2011) as has been the case in the past few years.
* Not to reintroduce parking discs, due to the costs involved and the possibility it might lead to confusion.
* Not to accede to the request to allow one hour or a minimum of 30 minutes free parking all year round. However the Traffic Wardens will continue to allow a 10-minute ‘grace’ period.
* Enforce the time restriction on parking and the prohibition on parking on yellow links, ‘double’ parking etc will be enforced.
*Switch on the Christmas Lights on either Thursday, December 1st. Or Friday, December 2nd - Arrangements to be finalised.”
Our neighboring towns of Cashel and Templemore have the first half hour parking free and Dungarvan in Co Waterford have also in recent months implemented the same facility.
It begs the question of Thurles Town Council - Why are you so afraid to take one small step to help shoppers on our high streets and ensure that our historic little market town retains its personality?
Perhaps the fact that none of our elected representatives are involved in the retail trade in Thurles is the answer. Could I note that this is an issue, which we should address, in the next local election.