Car park at busy county Wicklow train station to remain closed for summer
The Irish Rail car park at Kilcoole Train Station is to remain closed for the summer months, Wicklow County Council has confirmed.
The local authority said the closure is being done “in the interests of public health and wellbeing” and to facilitate local people to exercise within the current 5km restrictions.
However, free parking is available for commuters at the Park & Ride car park in Greystones which is only a seven minute drive from the centre of Kilcoole.
A council spokesperson said: “In line with national policy to improve infrastructure in order to encourage more people to walk and cycle, Wicklow County Council, An Garda Síochána and Irish Rail have agreed to keep the car park at the train station closed, on a trial basis, over the summer while the schools are off, children are at home, the weather is good and there are generally less commuters.”
The closing of the car park as a result of Covid-19 restrictions has had the unforeseen benefit of facilitating more people walking and cycling along the narrow rural section of Sea Road in greater safety than they previously enjoyed.
The council said: “Many families with small children are now more comfortable walking and cycling to the end of Sea Road from the village centre to access the local amenities of the beach and the Ballydonarea Loop Walk.
“This is as a result of the reduced volume of cars travelling at speed; the only cars now being local residents who travel the road much slower as they are familiar with its narrow nature and the possibility of pedestrians and cyclists on it.”
Improved road markings and signage have been installed along Sea Road to warn drivers of the presence of pedestrians and cyclists while extra bicycle parking has been provided to cater for the increase in cyclists in the area. Picnic benches have been placed in the parking area to make use of the available space and to enhance the amenity value for people visiting by bike or on foot.
There are two disabled parking bays in the car park which are still available for use and Wicklow County Council will be installing a number of parking spaces reserved for the elderly and the public is asked to respect and observe these parking spaces.
The local authority stressed the “usual situation” will revert from September. It added: “The change is a temporary one for the summer months only, to maximise the potential of the area and local amenities for the majority of the residents of Kilcoole.”