Louth campaigner John Morgan urges don’t block my way

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Illegal parking in disabled bays, bicycles and sandwich boards on footpaths.. just some of the daily obstacles facing disabled and elderly people highlighted during ‘Make Way Day’ in Dundalk last week,

isability and equal rights activist, John Morgan was joined by Cllr. Maeve Yore and Garda Ciara Mannion from the Community Policing Unit for the event.

“This was a day to raise awareness of the challenges and obstacles that not only disabled and wheelchair users, but also the elderly and people pushing buggies,,” John told The Argus.

Motorists abusing disabled parking bays remains “one of the most common challenges” added John.

“One bay in particular, at the top of Clanbrassil Street, is unfortunately misused a lot, probably because it is near the three banks and the post office, and it is busy with traffic.”

He pointed out that the “number one excuse people give is ‘I’ll be back in a minute’ or ‘I’ll move if someone comes along’. But that isn’t the point, those bays are there for a reason.”

“It is about raising awareness, and educating people about the penalties that they could face for using disabled parking bays. Most people are happy to move in when this is highlighted to them.”

He said it was “very welcomed” that Gardai had launched Operation Enable, which focused on the very issues highlighted during Make Way day.

“The misuse of disabled badges is also being highlighted. Gardai and traffic wardens have the right to inspect, and are checking badges and clamping down on this too.”

Cllr. Maeve Yore added: “Make Way Day enables us to remind people, businesses, drivers, local authorities not to block footpaths, park illegally in disabled parking bays, justifying it with “I’ll just be a minute”, and also on the need to cut back overhanging hedges, branches, upgrade footpaths, bins / signage blocking paths. It’s about educating and raising awareness for all.”

She thanked Garda Síochána Louth Community Gardai Ciara, Catherine and Daragh, and Supt. Charlie Armstrong for their ongoing support.

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