Visitors to green areas urged to park responsibly – and avoid ‘surefire way to annoy landowners’

As many green spaces around the country attract more visitors as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, those driving within their 5km to scenic destinations are being urged to park responsibly.

Noel Gibbons, road safety officer, Mayo County Council, says that local authorities wish to remind people not to cause obstruction when parking.

“We’ve all been there. Running late, you’re one of the last to get to the beach or forest walk. It’s rammed, but there’s just one parking space left. Well, it looks like a space, and that gate hardly looks used,” Gibbons says.

Bad parking is a surefire way to annoy landowners, farmers and local people.

“And, annoy them enough, and the area can be closed to public access. Yet, the good news is that this is one of the easiest access problems to prevent.

“How? Before you try and squeeze your pride and joy into that last potential space, remember these five steps to parking karma. Oh, and walk or cycle to your destination whenever possible – you know it makes sense.”

The “five steps to parking karma” are as follows:
  • Don’t park in front of gates or driveways – “this is guaranteed to make farmer’s or resident’s blood boil”;
  • Passing places and turning circles are essential to keep traffic flowing – “they are never appropriate parking spots”;
  • Parking on the verge – “this can be [okay] in some situations, but on narrow roads can cause major obstructions due to parked cars blocking part of the road”;
  • Always leave more space than you think for farm machinery or the emergency services – “farm machinery can be very wide and needs a good turning circle to get through gates”;
  • Never park on a clearway, unless you have an emergency – it’s illegal to even stop on one.

“We’ve had complaints of inconsiderate and dangerous parking. We understand in these difficult times exercise is important, but we would ask for considerate parking, please,” Gibbons continues.

“We encourage people to continue to use local green spaces for exercise / their own wellbeing during the current lockdown but, if travelling a short distance (within 5km) to get there, they should park in a safe and legal manner and be respectful to local land and property owners.”