'Park and stride': Cleeve's too far for shoppers, says Limerick businessman

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

Park-and-stride: The old Cleeve’s factory in Limerick

Park-and-stride: The old Cleeve’s factory in Limerick

A LIMERICK city businessman does not believe the council’s festive parking initiative will gain traction.

Donal O’Connell, proprietor of Mike O’Connell menswear in Catherine Street, has campaigned for free, on-street car parking.

But Limerick City and County Council says this will not be going ahead, and instead is offering city centre shoppers the option of availing of one of 220 car parking spaces at the old Cleeve’s factory at the North Circular Road.

This represents a ten minute walk to the central business district, and Mr O’Connell says this is too far for people laden with heavy shopping bags.

“I don’t think it will work. It’s a bit far out for people walking with bags at Christmas. I’d still have people park in the city centre, and enjoy the atmosphere of the city centre, rather than having to walk over a bridge,” he said.

On top of this, the council will allow free use of its car parking facility at Merchant’s Quay on weekends, freeing up another 80 spaces.

“That’s a nice gesture from them. But obviously it’s still only 80 spaces, but it’s worthwhile. It’s better than nothing. I actually think it would have been more in the interests of the Council and the city to have free parking in the centre. It would create an excellent atmosphere in the city, especially with the market,” he said.

While parking will be available at Merchant's Quay for the next three weekends, the free initiative at the Cleeve’s factory will run from this Friday up to the dying embers of 2017 to allow people in the city to witness the New Years’ eve fireworks display.

Free on-street parking was axed after feedback indicated it was almost impossible to avail of this offer as all of the on-street spaces were taken and there was little  turnover of spaces through the day.