A local councillor in West Cork has said that the town of Baltimore has become a “victim of its own success” amid a congestion crisis caused by a lack of parking space.
The town is a hotspot for tourists and Fianna Fáil’s Joe Carroll said the lack of space means traffic has spiralled “out of control”:
“Parking and traffic within the village is kind of out of control. We don’t have enough car parking spaces around the place for the many visitors coming to Baltimore,” Cllr Carroll told Newstalk.
“I suppose you could say, Baltimore is a victim of its own success.
“It’s a great destination and obviously it’s the last contact point for the islands - Cape Clear and Sherkin - and people love to come down and do day trips. Or even spend a few days out in the islands.
“It’s putting them off awful when they arrive, they have to spend a while driving around and then they have to park their cars sometimes illegally.
“And then maybe… they might find themselves with a ticket - that’s not a solution to the problem at all.”
'Not a lot of ground left'
Cllr Carroll says he and a number of colleagues have been trying to put together a traffic development plan but the problem is that there is “not much space left really” in Baltimore:
“There’s not a lot of ground left around the place. There’s an old disused boatyard there, I think at most it’s three acres.
“Now, whether that thing could be developed into some kind of parking or something else like that, I don’t know.
“But something must be done for the coming summer.”
The town is sometimes called ‘The Riviera of the South Coast’ and despite the parking issues, Cllr Carroll believes that Baltimore is still very much worth a visit:
“It’s one of the gems of West Cork as I’ve said and we need to preserve it. We need to make it a more attractive place to visit and that’s the only way you can.
“You’ve people arriving down with their cars and touring around and maybe missing a ferry and that’s not good enough at all.
“So a solution has to be found for that.”
Main image: Cars wait in traffic. Picture by: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie.