Railway station parking fees to rise 50pc
RAIL commuters already reeling from planned fare hikes are being hit with a 50pc increase in daily parking charges at railway stations nationwide from next week.
The €2 daily parking charge at all rail stations will increase by €1, to €3, from Monday.
The weekly fee of €8 is being raised to €10.
The €7 daily parking rate at Heuston, Connolly and Cork stations is going up to €8 a day. But the €30 monthly charge remains unchanged.
However, commuters who use Irish Rail's text service, Park By Text, to pay for their parking by mobile phone will not face any increases and will continue to be charged at the current car park rates.
The new parking rates will come into effect at all train stations -- mainline, suburban and DART -- from next Monday, just in time for the Christmas rush.
They come in the wake of the proposed 8pc increase in rail and bus fares, following the €21m Budget cut in State subventions to CIE.
But Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny insisted yesterday that the increase in parking charges had been planned well in advance of the Budget.
Thousands of rail commuters park their cars at rail stations and the charges have so far earned Irish Rail €1m.
Leaflets detailing the increases are being circulated at rail stations over the next few days.
Mr Kenny said motorists using Irish Rail's text service, Park By Text, will be charged at the current car park rates.
He said they expected more passengers who leave their cars at rail stations to switch over to the lower cost coin-free system.
"Up until now there had been no incentive to switch over," Mr Kenny added.
Park By Text has recently been introduced at all stations with paid car parks.
It gives customers an option to pay for their parking without having to carry cash, go to a machine or display a ticket on their car windscreen.
Once payment has been made using Park By Text, the central system is updated to take account of this and the car park management company will then know who has paid for their parking.
The operator of Luas park and ride services in Dublin has said there are no plans to increase the parking rate at its stations -- which currently stands at €2 for four hours or €4 for the entire day.