Coach Parking Facilities in Sligo – In this blog post Chamber CEO Paul Keyes raises concerns over lack of coach parking facilities in Sligo

On Monday 20th of April, I had the welcome opportunity to present to Sligo County Council on the Chamber’s perspective on how the County Council can better fulfill its role surrounding economic development. The full text of the presentation is linked here:
One of the many issues that I presented on was the issue of coach parking in Sligo, or rather the lack of it. A study by Sligo Tourism in 2014 calculated that no more than 5% of coaches passing through Sligo town actually stop in the town due to lack of adequate parking space.
I outlined a detailed Chamber proposal to convert Quay Street car park into a coach park and offered a very rudimentary and conservative estimate of the financial benefits that it would bring to the town. At the most conservative estimate, with an average of 35 people on a coach and an average spend of €15, an additional €500,000 would be spent in Sligo town if it got 5 additional coaches per day for half the year.
I was aware that the Council that I was addressing had recently unanimously agreed a motion to provide coach parking in Sligo town. I have no doubt that all of the Councillors who spoke knowledgeably on the subject were earnest in their desire for the Council to provide a coach park. Yet I left the Council chamber with no real sense that this issue would be addressed to the Councillors satisfaction and indeed to the satisfaction of their rate payers.
How can this be? Our Council has voted for it. The rate payers are asking for it. It will bring additional revenue into the town helping to create and sustain employment. Is it lack of finance or is it something even deeper, and if so, what is it?