As part of the Clonmel Chamber initiative, I am on the team concentrating on ways of improving the Town Centre. I am joined in this by Ken Hennessy (Hennessy Doyle Architects), Conor Moroney (Moroney Shoes) and Des Hourigan (permanenttsb Clonmel).
Ask any town centre trader what is the largest limiting factor on the town centre and most will answer insufficient parking.
The following car park facilities available in Clonmel at present:
Free All-day car-park at Gashouse Bridge
Reduced rate All-day Car-parks at Suir Island, The Quay/Anglesea St, Gordon Place
Regular pay Car-parks at Irishtown, The Quay, and Mary St/Town Centre
Up to now, the focus has been on the construction of a multi-storey in the town centre to cater for shoppers.
The Borough Council owned Mary St car park has been put forward as the best potential site... since I came back to work in Clonmel 24 years ago!
There are title and right-of-way difficulties which have precluded this site from being developed.
It may be time to re-appraise the entire problem and approach it from a different angle.
The Gashouse bridge site is wholly owned by the Borough Council, with no apparent title difficulties. It is currently used by office workers to park their cars for the whole day.
The reduced rate all-day car-parks at Suir Island, The Quay/Anglesea St, Gordon Place are used by largely the same people. These car-parks are very well located, close to the town centre.
If the Gashouse bridge site was developed as a multi-storey to house all the office workers, it would free up the car-parks at Suir Island, The Quay/Anglesea St and Gordon Place to be used as regular pay car-parks to facilitate shoppers.
This is a sideways look at the problem, but it may be a good one?
Let me know what you think.