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Coach park entrance an “accident waiting to happen” – say coach operators

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NARROW: The entrance to the new coach park on Rock Road is causing issues for coach and bus drivers. Pictured is bus operator Ken O'Day. Photo: Sean Moriarty

 

By Sean Moriarty

Coach and bus operators in Killarney have hit out at Kerry County Council this week saying the entrance to a brand new coach park on Rock Road is not suitable for their vehicles.

The new facility, billed as one of the saviours to Killarney’s traffic problems, opened last month - but the entrance to the car park is a foot wider than the bus entrance - causing serious concerns for coach drivers.

Coach operators, both local and visiting tours, have been asked to park there as opposed to the old bus park adjacent to Lewis Road car park.

However, drivers say the entrance for busses is too narrow and that getting into the car park takes at least two or three manoeuvres in traffic.

The Rock Road entrance features two drop-down barriers and two stands placed on a central island. The entrance is 15ft 9’ wide, one foot narrower than the car park entrance - but the island is the main bone of contention.

The older bus park on Lewis Road was operated without the need of the island in the middle to accommodate each side of the barrier.

One local operator, Ken O’Day, who runs O’Day’s of Kerry and West Cork Bus Hire in Killarney wants the Council to remove the central island and replace it with the same style barrier that served the Lewis Road car park for so long.

“Not alone is the width an issue, but there is no central island where the cars exit,” Mr O’Day said. “There is going be an accident here and I am calling on this to be looked at and changed now before it is too late. Only the other day I saw a coach driver reversing back onto the road to make the entrance, at a time when there were cars, bicycles and pedestrians around.”

Another operator, who did not want to be named, backed up O’Day’s concerns.

“I need the Council for my licence so I don’t want to be making noise in my home town,” he said. “The facility is perfect and we all like the general layout of the place but the entrance and exit could be thought out better. Bigger coaches will get damaged getting in and out of the place and drivers can’t get in out in one swing. Traffic coming in and out the Tralee road is being held up.”

Kerry County Council are calling for patience as people adjust to any new arrangements in the town, saying that the new bus park has created 120 new car parking spaces on the old bus parking site on Lewis Road.

“Kerry County Council is broadly very pleased with the response to the new bus and car park on Rock Road. Like any new arrangement, there will always be a period of adjustment and getting used to new facilities such as this,” said a Council spokesperson. “Anyone with any concerns or issues such as this can raise them with Council staff and we will be happy to discuss them. There have been some discussions with bus drivers to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. The removal of buses from the Lewis Road car park has created space for an additional 120 cars at this car park which has been very well received locally.”

 

[caption id="attachment_26887" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] NARROW: The entrance to the new coach park on Rock Road is causing issues for coach and bus drivers. Pictured is bus operator Ken O'Day. Photo: Sean Moriarty[/caption]

 

 

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

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By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

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