SHANNON Airport Group is to be asked to consider extending the free 15-minute access to the car park at the airport.
At last week’s meeting of Shannon Municipal District, Councillor Pat McMahon said that while first of all the Airport should be thanked for the free access, there are problems with it, especially in the evenings.
A motion he put before the meeting asked that Shannon Airport Group “consider providing additional free short-term parking for pick-up or drop-off of passengers as the current 15 minute free park is not sufficient”.
Councillor McMahon said that at the moment people park up at the roadside on the way in, as they don’t want to go in too early and face the €3 charge if they are inside for longer than a quarter of an hour.
The Fianna Fáil councillor said that it can be “quite dangerous”, with people parked at the side of the road on the way towards the car park entrance.
He also suggested that maybe having a €1 charge for an hour might clear the problem.
Councillor PJ Ryan supported his motion and said that if people could stay a bit longer, they might use the commercial facilities in the airport terminal.
He said that not so long ago two football matches could have been played in the car park simultaneously, so empty was it, but that has changed.
Adjusting the car parking charge would be “a little gesture that could help locals and it could help themselves, commercially”, Councillor Ryan added.
Independent Gerry Flynn said that he had received several calls about the issue, and that there had been some forgetfulness about the need to be user-friendly.
He also said that during the pandemic some machines had been adjusted to card-only use, and these needed to be changed back now, to allow use of cash also.
Fine Gael’s John Crowe said that it was “a very logical motion” and that if people could park for half an hour it would improve the situation a lot, and that both drivers and the airport could both benefit if a new arrangement is put in place.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.