Maria McCabe explains to Garda Superintendent Andrew Watters the difficulties she experiences on a daily basis caused by cars blocking her way.
“Any cars parked on the footpath that are blocking wheelchairs, prams or pedestrians will be towed”. So said Garda Superintendent Andrew Watters to Drogheda Life this morning when he called in to discuss the issue with wheelchair protestor Maria McCabe.
Maria handed a letter of protest in to the Garda station on Saturday last about inconsiderate drivers who park on the footpath at the Twenties blocking her access and that of other people pushing buggies forcing them out on to the road.
“I fully accept the problem is there and am trying to do something about it” Superintendent Watters told Drogheda Life. “Any cars that are left on the footpath in future are going to be towed away and I make no apologies for that.”
“This issue was raised at last week’s Drogheda Municipal Council meeting and Paddy Donnelly (Senior Executive Officer at Louth County Council) wrote to me the following day and our traffic unit have been issuing tickets.
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“These days you don’t see the ticket on your windscreen like you used to. It takes two or three days for you to realise that you’ve got a ticket when you get the letter in the post.
“The lads have issued tickets, I don’t know the exact number but people have got tickets and they will continue to get tickets. They have been told quite bluntly by me that if there are any cars on footpaths I want them towed away.”
Superintendent Watters said he was not in the station on Saturday but he did get Maria’s letter and had organised to meet with her. “If I had been here I would have brought her in to discuss the issue there and then” he said.
He added that he was engaging with the Council to get the double yellow lines, which have become quite faded, repainted.
“People should be under no illusions that if they park on the freshly painted yellow lines they are definitely going to get a ticket and any cars parked on the foot path that are blocking wheelchairs, prams or pedestrians I want them towed.
“I can’t sit by and I won’t sit by and let people block disabled people’s access.”
For her part, Maria McCabe said she was delighted that Superintendent Watters had taken the trouble to call out to her home.
“It was great meeting with Superintendent Watters today” she said. “Hopefully it will lead to progress with tackling people parking on the footpath and getting double yellow lines on the road so no one can park on them.”
See our previous article: Maria’s campaign to make Drogheda more wheelchair friendly