Saturday, July 24, 2021

Sarah Slater

Crowds have flocked to beaches in Co Wicklow during the recent heatwave, causing traffic chaos and prompting gardaí to create a temporary car park at Brittas Bay.

A field near the popular beach has been set aside as temporary parking by gardaí as thousands of people travelled to the beauty spot.

A Garda spokesperson said: “[The temporary car park] is to relieve the pressure caused on local infrastructure by the huge numbers of people visiting Brittas Bay.

“The new location is well signed and is a couple of minutes’ walk from the north car park. Please use same if the main car parks fill as quickly as they have done recently.”

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore said there have been cases where people have died on Wicklow beaches as ambulances weren’t able to get to them on time.

“When they find they can’t get parking down [near the beach], they’re parking on the side of the road – causing huge problems for locals, and emergency vehicles getting through.

“We’ve had some very tragic stories where people have actually passed away on the beaches because ambulances weren’t able to get to them in time.

“When we had that first really, really hot spell… it was incredible the way people parked. People had parked on both sides of the roads, essentially turning the road into a single lane – but you had two lanes of traffic trying to get through each other. That was in the Magheramore area, and was incredibly dangerous.”

She said gardaí were managing the situation where possible, towing vehicles and moving people on.

Ms Whitmore said she understood the frustration visitors experience they arrive in the area to find no designated parking spots, but there said there were “huge safety” issues involved if parked cars block roads or lanes.

Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

More National News