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Calls to end “the scourge” of illegal parking in town centre

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By Sean Moriarty

Elected members of Killarney Municipal District are to take a two-pronged approach to solving illegal parking issues in the town centre. Members are to seek a special meeting with the Council’s executive ahead of the next open meeting which is scheduled for early March.

They want clarity on the existing by-laws in the town regarding parking, and action to be taken against some motorists who Mayor Cllr Brendan Cronin says are “abusing the system”.

At last week’s KMD meeting, Cllr Donal Grady asked for an update on the by-laws connected with the ‘Safe Streets’ programme.

The programme was introduced to the town centre last summer in an effort to encourage more footfall in the town centre while at the same time providing for COVID-19 related social distancing measures.
The plan includes the full-time closure of Plunkett St to traffic, an issue that has divided the Council on many occasions. It also includes the provision of short-term “age friendly" parking spaces in town.

DEBATE

Mr Grady’s notice of motion led to a wider debate with some councillors stating that motorists are abusing the temporary parking arrangements as there is confusion over the application of by-laws in such parking bays.

“Current by-laws do not cover these arrangements and people know that. It is a slap in the face for progression,” said Cllr Niall Kelleher. “I urge the Council executive to bring the parking strategy before us as soon as possible as it is having an exceptional impact on the town of Killarney.”

In recent months, the Killarney Advertiser has covered several illegal and inconsiderate parking stories in the town centre. These include the prevention of a bus carrying people with special needs accessing the Christmas display at St Mary’s Cathedral and cars parked on double yellow lines in College Square which reduces access to the two “blue badge" parking zones directly across the street.

Last November Mayor Cronin, Gardai, Council officials and school principals met to discuss illegal parking on New Road at school time.

At the time the Council promised to increase the presence of the traffic warden in the area but, up to the Christmas break, the last time all of the schools in the area were open, there were still repeated incidents of cars parking on footpaths.

This prompted Cllr Michael Gleeson to bring the issue up at last Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council - where he demanded that the Council take action "as there has been considerable reconfiguration of streets, roads and footpaths in recent months, that the Council in conjunction with an action to prevent and punish the scourge of vehicles parking on footpaths".

"It's an illegal activity that demonstrates a gross disrespect for all pedestrians, very particularly for people with disability and for persons pushing prams and buggies,” he told the meeting.

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Further rise in house prices forecast for 2022 as average price of a resale home in the capital reaches €500,000

According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values recorded in 2021. At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG) recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand […]

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According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors
DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values
recorded in 2021.

At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG)
recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand home of 13.6% last year, a marked
acceleration in the rate of inflation compared to 2020 when prices rose by 1.4%.
At the national level (including Dublin) the overall rate of price increase last year stood at 12.0%. The NPG, which tracks house prices across the country on a half yearly basis, recorded growth of 5.3% in the six months to December 2021, compared to an increase of 7.9% in the first six months of last year.
All regions of Ireland recorded double digit price growth in 2021, except for Dublin (+9.9%).
Nationally, the strongest rate of house price appreciation was in the Mid-West region (+17.2%)
followed by the Midlands (+14.2%) and West (+13.8%) whilst the South East region saw the
lowest rate of growth in prices last year (+11.0%).
Outside the capital the highest average price was found in the Mid-East (€349,259) followed by the South West (€279,844).

Looking at the outlook for the year ahead, the agency forecasts further growth in prices both in
Dublin and nationally, with regional price gains set to outstrip those in the capital where nominal
values are already elevated, and affordability is more challenged.
The agency is forecasting an average uplift in regional markets of 12-13% this year whilst price growth in Dublin will more likely be high single digits, in the order of 6-8%.
The factors underpinning the forecasts include continued strong economic and wage growth, the heightened household savings levels seen in 2020-21, the extension of government initiatives for first time buyers announced in the budget, strong demand from this cohort evident in the mortgage approvals data and the prevailing low interest rate environment.
On the supply side, whilst the supply of new residential completions is set to increase to around 26,000 units this year, this will still be well below the estimated 30-35,000 new units required each year to meet demand thereby putting upward pressure on prices in the market.
“Whilst Covid-related issues rightly dominated the news agenda in 2021, housing undoubtedly came a close second, given the emotive nature of the housing debate and the current market dynamics of
rising house prices and rents and a shortage of accommodation available to buy or rent, not only
in Dublin but across the country.”, said DNG’s Director of Research Paul Murgatroyd said “Price growth was clearly very robust last year across all regions and the factors that drove those increases continue to be evident in the market as we enter 2022. The stock of homes for sale in the second hand market remains very low by historical standards and this, combined with the elevated level of demand, brought about in part by factors linked to changing behaviours throughout the pandemic, will mean further price appreciation will be evident as we progress through the year ahead.”

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Iarnrod Eireann refuses plans for footbridge at railway station

By Sean Moriarty Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station. Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station.

Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two public transport hubs.

Currently rail passengers must walk from Killarney station, via the front entrance of the Great Southern Hotel and then walk the entire length of the Outlet Centre before reaching the bus station.

“It’s an anomaly that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other European country,” said Cllr O’Donoghue in November.

Iarnrod Eireann has responded to the letter sent shortly after the November meeting.

In reply the railway company said that in October 2019 it carried out a study which included the possibility of a either an underpass or a footbridge.

The study revealed that passenger would face a short four to five minute walk when trying to access one hub from another.

“Iarnrod Eireann would regard this as scheme as a low priority investment,” said chief executive Jim Meade in the letter.

Cllr Donoghue said the response was “ludicrous” and that he had often witnessed passengers lugging suitcases through the Outlet Centre.

“You would not jog it in five minutes,” he said.

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