— “You couldn’t make this up” says local cycling campaign
— “Shocking lack of enforcement” gave false sense of security says cinema
Popcorn is likely not included but Omniplex has offered free film tickets to cinemagoers who were fined for illegally parking on a cycle lane outside one of their cinemas, although they are looking for proof of payment of the fines.
Council traffic wardens reportedly issued €40 fines to between 30 to 40 motorists who parked illegally outside the Omniplex on the Dan Spring Road in Tralee, Co Kerry, on Tuesday night two weeks ago.
Radiokerry.ie reported that Kerry County Council views the illegal parking on both sides of the road as a traffic hazard and a restriction on footpaths. The council even erected signs warning of fines, and Omniplex Tralee said that when their car park was full staff waited outside and advised people to use other nearby car parks and they posted signs to that effect too.
The car park cinemagoers were directed to, at Prince’s St, is around a seven minute walk from the cinema. Tuesday night is reportedly the second busiest night at the cinema because of discounted film tickets.
When IrishCycle.com asked the cinema chain how does it justify giving free tickets to people fined for breaking the law, Omniplex tweeted: “We love cinemagoers regardless of transport choice. Shocking lack of enforcement for 8 years leads to false sense of security.”
Local media reported how people were “furious” over the fines and complained how it was “underhanded“, but the majority of local people commenting on a Facebook post by Tralee Chamber Alliance seemed to clearly support the issuing of fines and are annoyed with on-going illegal parking on roads, footpaths and cycle lanes around the town.
One member of the public, Suzi Belcourt, commented: “Illegal parking in Tralee is a joke, it should be clamped down on and people should think twice before parking on double yellow lines or on the foot path. The number of times I’ve had to go out on the road with a buggy because someone thinks it’s OK to park on the footpath is ridiculous! There’s plenty of parking in town, a 5 min walk isn’t the end of the world!”
Another commenter, Paul Madden, said: “Good!!! Illegal parking in Tralee is a disgrace! Footpaths blocked; parking on double yellow lines etc – people are becoming so lazy – no wonder Ireland is well on its way to having one of the most obese populations in the world!!! Park the car a few streets away and walk!”
Trish Casey, echoed others and questioned why there is not more enforcement around the town. She wrote: “I presume the same will apply to Austin Stacks [GAA stadium] whenever there’s a match on. My sister lived in that area and before she passed away she had to use a wheelchair, one Sunday we had planned to take her out for the afternoon but because of cars parked more or less right up against our gate we were unable to get her wheelchair out. All the guards could do was put an announcement out in Austin Stacks.”
While tweeting a link to a local media article, Kerry Cycling Campaign said: “Welcome to Kerry, illegally park in cycle lane for free cinema tickets, couldn’t make this up!”. The campaign also joked:
— KerryCyclingCampaign (@kerrycyclingcam) October 26, 2016