Car park controversy

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Beachgoers are unhappy after charges were introduced at the carpark at Praia do Garrão, between Vale do Lobo and Quinta da Lago, claiming that no information signs have been put up and that there are now no disabled parking places.

Norman Walker* from Moncarapacho told the Algarve Resident: “I learned last week that Loulé Câmara had introduced car parking charges at Praia do Garrão Poente, near the Dunas Douradas development.

“I was very surprised and angered to find on returning to my car after three hours on the beach that I had been given a parking ticket. I had not seen any sign or notice to warn me that I was now required to pay.”

“The ticket told me to pay €13.20 euros (the charge applicable for all-day parking) within 48 hours or face a fine of €30 to €150.”

Norman Walker has now written to the President of Loulé Câmara to protest at the Câmara’s “failure” to provide adequate notification or information to tell people that parking charges had been imposed on the area.

Rachel Shepherd*, who visits the Algarve regularly with her special needs daughter, told the Algarve Resident: “I visited the Dunas Douradas beach recently and was shocked to find that they had taken away the parking spaces for disabled people. Loulé Council have put parking meters in and removed these spaces.

“This means that anyone who is disabled is unable to park with easy access to the beach.”

She said that Dunas Douradas beach used to be fairly accessible for those with reduced mobility: “The only way people can now park nearby is if you pay for the day. Loulé Câmara has discriminated against those with a disability.”

Élia Silva from the Urban Parking Department at Loulé Câmara told the Algarve Resident: “Charges at this carpark will apply until the end of September, from 9am to 8pm. They came into operation on June 17 and we informed users prior to their introduction that this area would soon be charged.”

The scheme was approved by the Government after a parking planning project was developed by Loulé Câmara.

“We have placed signs informing users of the tariffs charged and the working timetable.

“The carpark has 156 places – 116 places are charged and 40 are not. We have also placed an information board at the entrance of the park,” added Élia Silva.

She said that the car park had four parking spaces available for people with reduced mobility and two spaces for emergency vehicles.

“To the current date, signs are in the appropriate places and kept in good condition,” she said.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]