Call for parent and child parking bays at leisure centre

Call for parent and child parking bays at leisure centre

6 November 2019

LOCAL politicians have called for dedicated mother and toddler parking at Down Leisure Centre.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath and Downpatrick councillor John Trainor believe that the provision of such spaces is essential at the multi-million pound centre.

Mr McGrath said the provision of the new centre was the result of years of hard work and engagement with the community, suggesting that there is still much work to do.

He explained that not long after the opening of the centre, he was contacted about the handball/squash court in the centre and the need for a dividing wall. 

“Representations were made and this was delivered,” said Mr McGrath. “The next item that I am pursuing along with others is the provision of parent and child parking and find it unusual that this facility does not exist so far.

“I have repeated my call to the council to provide this and am delighted that Cllr Trainor will now bring this before the organisation to address.”

Mr McGrath said he was “immensely proud” of the new leisure centre and the work which has gone into it, with the facility serving the entire district.

He added: “If parent and child bays are included here then there’s no reason they can’t be installed at leisure centres throughout the district. This is a fairly straightforward call as we require our leisure centres as accessible as possible for all of the community.” 

Cllr Trainor said that while it was “fantastic” to see the leisure centre in Downpatrick being so well used, the flip side of this was that families ended up having to park their cars on the other side of the car park and walk their children through a busy thoroughfare before they reach the centre itself. 

He added: “I believe this issue can be managed and addressed with the installation of some parent and child parking bays closer to the centre. Ultimately, this will not only benefit the Down Leisure Centre, but the district as a whole and I hope that the council recognises this.”