Castleisland’s Free Parking Being Hogged by Traders and Staff – A Concerned Retailer

Shops like Garvey’s SuperValu have their own extensive car-parking areas unlike the street-side shops which are at the mercy of the public – and their fellow traders and staff members – it seems. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Other than the fact that it’s pure Castleisland in terms of history, mentality and outlook, I have no positive idea of the provenance of the ‘Dear Sir’ letter below.

That it was a letter, which came through the door just before the weekend, links it firmly to Castleisland’s clearly ongoing issues with locals taking great liberties with the vital free parking privileges of the town’s short and long-term business prospects.

It was also a pure throw-back to the long gone days when a majority of newspaper bound items arrived in just that way.

A Throw-Back

A throw-back too to the days when I first got letters of similar sentiment. Those were the days when Tralee was the industrial capitol of the county.

Burlington Industries, Borg Warner, Swiss Wire and ‘The Tubes’ / Kingdom Tubes and their equals were all flying high and drawing their work-forces from a wide hinterland.

Car parking, legal and all as it was at the time – as it is now, was a serious issue and one that was tackled by the Castleisland Development Association back then.

Parked and Locked-up

There were dozens of cars parked and locked up early every morning of the week by car-pooling workers on their way to Tralee.

Those cars were there by the kerbs of the streets all day long amid the chaos that was Castleisland traffic and parking in those care-free days.

But there were people who had to care because the thresholds of their shop doors were not being crossed to the extent that they had been.

Skirting the Town

And then, when the traffic chaos really began to bite, there were verifiable reports that people from our neighbouring villages – the lifeblood of business here – were skirting the town and travelling to Tralee and Killarney to do their shopping. The more things change…..

Are you a retailer on Castleisland’s Main Street ? Do you, and members of your staff, park in front of your own or your neighbour’s door ? Some of you do – according to the ‘Concerned Retailer’ in the following letter: 

Dear Sir,

Castleisland prides itself in its wide street, enabling it to offer abundant and free on street – and off street parking to its growing customer base – new and old.

When you add this to the numerous easy access routes that lead into our town, and the short walking distance between stores, Castleisland is seen as being a very attractive place to come to shop in particular.

Indeed, we now see it being advertised as a shopping destination – the best in Kerry.

However, in recent times, there are rumblings that the amount of free on street parking available, in three-hour slots, is not being used as it should be, because it is being hogged by some retailers and service providers and their staff , who choose to park on the streets on a daily basis, making judicious use of the three-hour slots and using up the very same spaces that their prospective customers are seeking to avail of – a contradiction of course in a business sense.

There is no doubt but that these people are acting within the letter of the law, if not in the spirit of the ‘abundant free parking for our customers. Mantra – one of the pillars of Castleisland town’s attraction to its loyal customer following.

There is anecdotal evidence of people setting out to come to Castleisland for a shopping experience, failing to find convenient parking, and then electing to carry on to Manor in Tralee.

Free parking is a privilege that the town enjoys and is one of our greatest assets – we need to use it wisely. To lose it would be a catastrophe.

A Concerned Retailer.

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