End of the strand off? Bettystown beach parking solution may have been found

Bettystown beach parking solution may have been found

A solution to the issue of parking on Bettystown beach which has come to the fore in recent weeks after cars were banned from parking on the famous east Meath strand because of restrictions on gatherings and Covid-19, may have been found.

Local Fine Gael Councillor, Sharon Tolan has today announced that she has secured an agreement in principle with Louth & Meath ETB, to allow access to its parking facilities at local secondary school Colaiste na hInse. Tolan has been working on alternative parking solutions for beach users for the past six years since her election to Meath County Council in 2014, but has increased the effort and pressure on the Council since the beach was closed to vehicles at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Beachlovers on Bettystown strand last weekend

“The community has enjoyed a completely different experience on our beaches in East Meath since the closure to vehicles. Families and the elderly have been able to enjoy their time on the beach without navigating traffic, joy riders or bin trucks which are all daily occurrences. I have put forward a number of options to the Council for some years now, and it is time they acted. Local Authorities all over the world are creating innovative plans to increase pedestrian space in towns and cities, the very least the public can expect is that Meath County Council ensure our beaches are safe to use.

I have secured agreement in principle with the Chief Executive of LMETB and local principal Ann Marie McCarrick, and the paperwork is currently being processed. It is now time for Meath Co Council to make this happen. The Minister for Education has many times insisted that schools and their facilities should be used by communities, they are paid for by the taxpayer and should not lie idle for three months of the year.

Cllr Sharon Tolan on Bettystown beach

"With some strategic signage, this could be one solution delivered easily. I have also written to Chief Superintendent Fergus Healy to give the go-ahead for current public car parks in Mornington, Netterville and Laytown to reopen immediately. Thousands of people live within 5km of the beach, and thousands more live with 20km, we need these parking options reopened as a matter of urgency. I am delighted to say that agreement has been reached to reopen them on Monday 8th June, along with the public toilets later in the week. Our beach wardens and lifeguards will be back in action on the 13th June. Let’s hope visitors and locals can enjoy our beautiful beach car free forevermore!”

Tolan’s motion to keep Bettystown car free will be come before a Full Meeting of Meath County Council on Monday (8th June) in the Solstice Arts Centre, where the meeting is being held especially to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

More from this Topic