Traders on Park Street Dundalk have blasted the council’ s decision to install a new taxi rank on the street, writes Martin Grant.
The rank has taken up 17 spaces on Park Street and will operate between 10pm and 6am.
On Francis Street a total of 12 spaces have been allocated to operate between 5pm and 6am.
During these times, only taxis will be able to park in the allocated spaces.
Local businesses believe that the public are unaware of the restricted times and afraid to park in the area.
Jimmy Cumiskey, a trader in the area, believes that the move is “crazy” and will only lead to traders closing shop.
“There is no need for these ranks,” Jimmy told The Democrat, “It is a crazy idea. People don’t need to leave the restaurant or nightclub.
“They just ring the taxi company or use an app. People don’t walk to get taxis at night.”
Kat Duff has just opened a new cafe in the Park Street named Urbano 21 and is furious with the new rank.
“When I took out the lease for the cafe, I was unaware that a taxi rank would be installed,” said Kat. “They appeared overnight. People are just driving into the spaces and then pulling out. It was a very bad day for us the first day the rank was installed. Very few people came into the cafe.”
Meanwhile, May Bucranan of Carroll’s Bookshop also expressed her anger at the rank.
“We are not very pleased with the rank,” May told the paper. “Things are bad enough for traders without this confusion for customers. It is very difficult for customers to find parking already. The council need to make bigger signs to tell people that they are able to park during the day.”
In a statement on Monday Louth Co Council ssaid: “ The road markings used are as prescribed in the Road Traffic (Signs) Regulations 1997 and are supplemented by an information plate under the Taxi Rank Sign. An additional information plate will be erected advising the this is a pay parking zone up to 5pm. This will be erected when received from our supplier.”
The council also added that the “enforcement of the night time taxi stand is a matter for an Garda Síochána who were a contributor during the consultation phase of this process and did lead in suggesting the night time Taxi stand.”