New byelaw to block camper vans from local car parks

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 7th March, 2012 5:00pm

Roscommon County Council has introduced new bye-laws designed to prevent camper vans from taking up spaces in public car parks.

Curraghboy councillor Tony Ward had lobbied for the new regulations after sometimes seeing "as many as 17 or 18 camper vans" in the car park across from the Hodson Bay Hotel. This coming summer will be the first in which the bye-law on camper vans will be in effect.

At the council's recent monthly meeting, Cllr Ward asked what action the local authority would be taking against "the illegal parking of camper vans in the Roscommon County Council car park at Hodson Bay, Athlone."

The council's executive replied: "The county of Roscommon parking bye-laws came into operation on October 10, 2011. The bye-laws specifically prevent camper-vans and other vehicles providing living accommodation from parking in a public car park between the hours of 8pm and 8am.

"The council can request persons who are in breach of the bye-laws to leave any public car park in the county."

Cllr Ward welcomed the response. "Roscommon County Council is providing that car park for the public but up to now a lot of the spaces could be gone as a result of these camper vans," he said.

"But the big concern that I had was in relation to the sewage and refuse (from the camper vans). Where is that going? Is it going into the River Shannon?

"I welcome the bye-laws because I think there's no excuse for the camper vans to be parked there, especially when there's an established caravan park nearby which has all the proper facilities."

He said he hoped the bye-law would result in anyone who parks illegally being moved on. "This is now in place and like any other law it's there to be enforced," he said.