An announcement from City Hall that Waterford’s Regional Sports Centre is to be opened up for car parking has come as a relief to Lismore Park residents and those of neighbouring estates who have long been complaining of the nuisance caused by WIT students parking outside their homes.

But they now want the students – and college staff in some instances – to be encouraged to alter their parking habits and use the RSC, where there is space for about 300 cars.

Lismore Residents Association Chairman Jimmy Hannigan advocates that a stipulation to that effect be incorporated in the College Code of Conduct and that has been endorsed by former Mayor of Waterford, Independent City Councillor Cha O’Neill, who has been tirelessly campaigning on behalf of the besieged residents.

Cllr O’Neill confirmed the decision to allow parking at the RSC was taken following a meeting in WIT last Thursday night, attended by College, Council and residents’ representatives, as well as gardai. With the current school year drawing to a close, he expects implementation of the decision in time for next September’s re-opening.

He said both the college and College St, where some WIT classes are accommodated, are less than a five minute walk from the RSC, so he sees no reason why students wouldn’t avail of the parking there, which will be free of charge.

Mr Hannigan pointed out that students were parking illegally within the estates in some instances, despite gardai regularly issuing summonses. He said that instead of being utilised solely for the purpose intended, the estates had become car parks with the housing aspect almost incidental. “We must be allowed reclaim our streets”, he asserted, holding both the City Council and WIT management to account in that regard.