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RSA Prohibit Thurles Centre Trading

It is snowing today in Thurles town and no one needs reminding this is the week before Christmas week. This week and next in fact will decide, for some traders, who will continues in business next year and who can continue to keep their present employees, in the months ahead.

Shopkeepers, in the past few months, had publicly expressed grave concerns about current trading difficulties within the town centre. The Tipperary Star Newspaper informed us this week that our Town Council had a massive revenue deficit of €400,000 in its annual estimates. Some Traders were having difficulties with finding finance to pay commercial rates, was given as the reason which leaves the local Town Council with major headaches, as they go about preparing for the provision of services for 2012.

The irate emails to Thurles.Info began rolling in at midday today. Senders were criticising the fact that parking was being restricted for those attempting to visit Banks, Credit Unions and nearby Book Stores.

I decided to visit the scene and discovered that the unforgivable had happened. The Road Safety Authority road show had rolled into our town and took over 25% of the Parnell Car Park to park their vehicles, thus restricting access to almost 30 badly needed car parking spaces, essential to centre Town business and daily trading.

A phone call to those involved, further revealed that this situation will continue this week until next Thursday, and our caller was informed that “road safety is more important than anything else.

In the meanwhile I watched as car after car arrived into the parking area and then left, on finding no vacant space. Traders in the center of the town lost thousands of euros in sales yesterday as a result of this incompetence.

On Sunday last, at the very successful Thurles Christmas Market some of our elected representatives, who assumed office on the promise to represent the interests of those who generate our towns revenue, walked around Liberty Square, mainly in the hope of a photo PR opportunity.

Today not one of these people could be contacted, to sort out this unforgivable blunder and personal insult to those who generate revenue and protect employment.

Yes I support road safety, yes I cringe when vehicle accidents on our roads cause death, but already taxpayers money pays heavily for the Road Safety Authority to inform us that 5 persons died on our road last year in Tipperary and that we need to be more careful.

Why should Thurles traders be required to pay tenfold, by loosing valuable business in its town centre two weeks before Christmas, to enhance what each one of us already know?  Who will pick up the tab for the 7 % reduction promised in the Local Government Fund from the Department of the Environment?

Time to take responsibility, so your thoughts please, leave a comment.

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4 comments to RSA Prohibit Thurles Centre Trading

  • Chris

    Road safety is an important issue and I welcome the fact that the RSA is out there promoting safe driving especially near the holiday season, but the way they are doing it is inconveniencing everyday people/consumers. Why do they need such a big vehicle. A small transit with a TV screen would have less impact and still get the message across.

  • It was like a circus act in Kilkenny last Sunday, everyone wondering what it was like being in a car that turns over. The amount of taxpayers money spent on teaching basic common sense is stupid – TV, Internet, Film, print and a circus act, and still no one takes any heed.

  • Michael

    The RSA have an important message-no argument there. However the choice of location is poor. Could they not have used other sites where disturbance would be considerably less, i.e. Semple Stadium, Greyhound Track and all the other sporting clubs’s empty car parks.

  • My thoughts exactly Michael, even placed on school grounds where young drivers could reflect on the consequences of speed, safety, drink driving and basic road etiquette.

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