Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Strategic Director has agreed that a “permanent solution” needs to be found for the parking problem at Gosford Forest Park.

Speaking at Tuesday’s virtual council meeting, Mark Parkinson said that Council needs to work with the Department for Infrastructure and the PSNI to get a “more permanent solution” at Gosford for the long term.

His words were in response to Alderman Jim Speers who said Council should be using this time to find a permanent solution to the parking problem.

“We need to prevent the ongoing problems of people parking on the roadway, it means people emerging from Gosford Forest Park find it almost impossible to do so safely,” said the UUP representative.

“At a time like this we need to take the opportunity to find a permanent solution to this problem.”

The Gosford issue was raised again, a short time later, by Alderman Gareth Wilson.

Alderman Wilson said that with Gosford Forest Park’s car park set to open to the public for free on Wednesday, May 27, Council would need to be careful it did not open its itself up to further problems.

“Yesterday [bank holiday Monday], there were a large number of cars parked on the roadside and I would be keen to see the cones back out again as soon as possible,” added Alderman Wilson.

“We need to be careful as Gosford reopens, we could have a huge influx of cars so social distancing could be an issue. We need to be careful about that if things don’t seem to be working out as well as they should.”

In response, Council’s Strategic Director, Mark Parkinson said the cones would soon be redeployed and Council will work within its powers to ensure social distancing is maintained at Gosford Forest Park.

Council had previously heard that redeploying cones would cost Council £1,200.

“Cones will soon be redeployed at Gosford, we have received contact from the PSNI about the delivery of cones,” said Mr Parkinson.

“People have to social distance and we will work within our powers to ensure they do. We will have to limit the number of vehicles that can park on site.”

By Adam Morton, Local Democracy Reporter.

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