Action needed on campervans, says Bundoran Town Council

There is an urgent need to ensure that existing legislation regarding illegal parking is enforced in Bundoran, members of the Town Council agreed this week.

There is an urgent need to ensure that existing legislation regarding illegal parking is enforced in Bundoran, members of the Town Council agreed this week.

Council Chairman put forward two motions at the monthly meeting, that a barrier be at SuperValu to prevent campers setting up in the car park and that the council make a decision on how to deal with the influx of campervans. Cllr. McEniff said he was certainly “not against campervans coming to the town”. indeed, he thought it could be a good business opportunity, but there was a need to ensure that they parked where they should and obeyed the laws.

He told the council: “There are two issues, campervans belonging to traders who come into the town on a Friday evening and park wherever they choose, knowing they can’t be moved on until Monday morning. They’re making a mess right in the middle of the town in a place that is intended for tourists and we don’t want them there.” Cllr. Michael McMahon agreed: “We are talking about people coming in and messing up the town and not paying a cent to the town. The people who come in and pay their way are fed up with it.” Cllr. Elizabeth McIntyre supported the motion but said the footpaths are so low that a van can easily go over them, making any barrier redundant. Cllr. Denise Connolly noted that this was an issue of enforcement and said there was an urgent need to set up the town’s Joint Policing Board. Cllr. Diarmaid Doherty agreed that the answer lay in enforcement. “It’s a national issue and we’re not going to solve it here. I don’t like to see this council spending our precious money having to put up bollards, when we should have the law enforced. In England, the police didn’t come along and say please, the law is enforced. Town Clerk Joe McNulty said the cost for putting bollards along the footpath would be “substantial”. He said the legal provisions are there to move people who are illegally parked. “What the gardai require is for us to report to them in writing. I have been here at weekends doing this as soon as I’ve been informed of incidents.”

Council members also agreed that something needs to be done to ensure that tourists who visit the town in campervans do not park on the streets. Cllr. Denise Connolly said: “It’s not a matter of pitting casual tourist in a campervan against Traveller, if you’re parked illegally, you’re parked illegally, it’s a problem all over Europe.” Cllr. McEniff said: “I’ve had a motion for some time that council provide a campervan site on our land. They take up valuable parking especially at the West End where they’re not being charged at all. It’s getting very messy and I think we need to facilitate where they can park.” Cllr. Denise Connolly pointed out that, as the town hosts many surfing competition, there was a special need to cater for the many surfers who would arrive in vans and campervans. A number of councillors said they thought such a campervan park would be an asset to the town, but it was generally agreed that such a project should be done in conjunction with, rather than in opposition to, existing businesses in the own.

Town Manager Garry Martin agreed that it could be an important industry for the town. He undertook to identify suitable council-owned sites and discuss options with local businesses. He added: “Another issue is enforcement. People will always go for non-cost option if it’s there, so there’s a job getting it across that they must use the proper facilities.” He said he would report back to the September meeting with options and recommendations