Carrick-on-Suir walkers in Kilsheelan at the launch of the Suir Blueway on May 18: Harry and Bridget Littlewood, John Crowe, Tina Murphy, Jackie Dunne, Mary Henshaw, James Sullivan, Maura O'Neill
The absence of a car park for visitors to the new River Suir Blueway at its start point in Carrick-on-Suir was highlighted at Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District's monthly meeting.
Carrick-on-Suir's two county councillors David Dunne (SF) and Kieran Bourke called on the Council to develop a car park around the riverside Sean Healy Park in the town for walkers, bikers and water sports enthusiasts using the Blueway.
They said constituents had raised the need for designated car parking for Blueway visitors with them.
Cllr Dunne also proposed that the Council consider creating some parking facilities for camper van tourists in Carrick-on-Suir providing an electricity connection and connection to sewerage and water facilities. These parking facilities were available all over France and camper van users paid a €10 fee to avail of them.
"It's something we should look into for the future as an addition to the Blueway," he suggested.
Cllr Bourke said the Council needed to look at purchasing a site for a Blueway visitors car park in Carrick in close proximity to Sean Healy Park or provide an incentive for private landowners in that area to provide car parking.
He expressed concern that the lack of car parking in Carrick-on-Suir could become an "achilles heel" issue in attracting people to visit the Blueway in his hometown.
Carrick-on-Suir District Engineer Willie Corby said the Council would certainly include additional car parking in Carrick-on-Suir in any proposed works to further improve the Blueway.
He said the Council would also consider Cllr Dunne's proposal about providing camper van parking facilities in any future scheme. Mr Corby suggested the Council could apply for funding under the annual outdoor recreation improvement grants scheme for the parking facilities the councillors proposed.
Carrick-on-Suir District Administrator Martin Nolan said the Council would look at the provision of camper van parking facilities in Carrick-on-Suir when it next reviewed the town's car parking by-laws.
He pointed out that attracting camper van tourists was not currently on the agenda of tourism business interests in the town and the Council would have to carry out consultation with them first before deciding to provide such facilities.
He did indicate though that he took a positive view of the proposal.
Cllr Bourke responded that a review of the town's parking by-laws really needed to be put on the agenda of Carrick-on-Suir's Municipal District after the local elections.