A local woman is calling on Roscommon County Council to clamp down on instances of illegal parking in Roscommon town, claiming that there has been an increase in the number of vehicles using disabled parking bays illegally.
Roscommon town woman, Dorothy Coyle, who was born with Spina Bifida and is confined to a wheelchair, says the issue has been exacerbated following the opening of the new-look Town Square.
“I pay €35 every two years for a disabled parking badge and it breaks my heart,” she said.
“I work in Roscommon town and there have been many occasions where someone without a badge has been parked in the disabled spaces or parked over the line and reducing space for those who need it. When it’s mentioned to them it doesn’t seem to register”.
Dorothy’s husband Paul says he is “sick and tired” of asking motorists to move their vehicles.
“I really thought it might improve with the new Square and with increased CCTV but it’s still a major problem,” he said.
A Fixed Charge Notice for misuse of a disabled parking permit is set to be introduced in the New Year, but both Dorothy and Paul remain unconvinced it will have any meaningful impact.
“The problem is that there is no enforcement and the only way to stop it from happening is to have a traffic warden in the town,” Paul said.
“You wouldn’t get away with it in the likes of Westport or Athlone, where there are wardens on duty throughout the day”.
Dorothy, who says the couple have received verbal abuse from some motorists in the past, has been an advocate of the ‘Make Way Day’ campaign, which raises awareness around street obstacles for wheelchair users.
“There are certain days when you have to arrive very early in to get parking in disabled spots in Roscommon while it’s impossible to get parking at any time of day on other days. It makes life harder when you’re in a wheelchair and have to park further away,” she said.
“Campaigns like Make Way Day are all well and good but they’re soon forgotten about with no real results. There has to be more follow through. There needs to be more awareness the other 364 days of the year and more enforcement. It’s the only way,” she concluded.