Wednesday 21 August 2019

Street parking charge increase to generate €1.5 million for Dublin City Council

Stock image
Stock image

Niamh Lynch

An increase in the price of street parking in Dublin will generate an estimated €1.5 million, Dublin City Council (DCC) has revealed.

The increased charges, which mark a 70pc increase in some areas, will start from today, Monday, onwards.

New by-laws surrounding parking in Dublin came into effect on July 1, but a spokesperson for Dublin City Council said that they delayed the introduction of the charges to "allow for signage, parking meters, and operators time to update to the new rates, and also get communications out to customers".

A spokesperson for DCC also said that it is "not the intention of the rate increase to reduce the overall amount of vehicles parking in the city" but to increase the "turnover of parking spaces and ensuring that all day commuter parking is reduced".

The extra revenue generated from the price increase will be put towards the Environment and Transportation annual budget for this year.

DCC will raise prices in "very high demand" zones from €2.90 to €3.20 per hour, while prices in "high demand" zones will increase from €2.40 to €2.70, an increase of 12.5 pc.

However, the biggest increase comes in "medium demand" zones outside the city centre, as prices jump from €1.60 per hour to €2.70 - an increase of 68.75 pc. The three zones have also expanded in size.

Those parking in the "high demand Sundays" zone, which includes the O'Connell Street, Henry Street, Grafton Street, and St Stephen's Green shopping areas, will pay an hourly rate of €1.40 between 2pm and 6pm.

The new parking zones that come into effect
The new parking zones that come into effect

Those who use the council’s Parking Tag app will receive a 10pc discount in "high demand" and "very high demand" zones.

Today marks the first increase in Dublin street parking prices since 2008. The price rise was approved by councillors in February.

Two of Ireland’s biggest private car parking companies - Europark and Q Park - did not respond to queries over any planned price increases, while Parkrite said that they had no planned price increases.

A spokesperson for Dublin Chamber of Commerce said the price increase has the potential to "impact both the competiveness of the city centre as a place to do business and the attractiveness of it as a place to visit and spend money".

Speaking to Independent.ie, the Chamber’s Graeme McQueen said: "It’s understandable that many businesses in the city are nervous about the increase in parking charges.

"We welcome the goal of reducing the number of car trips in Dublin. The question is why so many people are still having to drive and park in Dublin.

"The answer for many is that they have no other option. These parking charge increases would be easier to stomach if we were seeing an improvement in our public transport network, and also our cycle lanes, at the same time.

"It would be great to see the Council ring-fencing the money collected for improvements to how people move around the city, perhaps for improvements in our cycling infrastructure or for the expansion of the Dublin Bikes scheme," said Mr McQueen.

"These types of investments would really help improve how people can access and move around the city."

Meanwhile, a consumer expert has warned of the effect of the increase on businesses in Dublin.

AA’s director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said on-street parking was "extremely important" for the city.

Speaking to the Herald last week, Mr Faughnan said: "DCC makes about €30m per annum from on-street parking, which is a very significant contribution from motorists.

"They're now arguing that they need more. I have some sympathy that the local authority has a lot to do for its citizens, but I can't see that as a justification for taking more money out of motorists' pockets.

"The council ultimately does not want people driving into the city for their commute, but these spaces are extremely important for the commercial life of the city, particularly for traders and retailers," Mr Faughnan said.

"As you push up the cost of parking, you put traders at a further competitive disadvantage to suburban shopping centres in places like in Dundrum or Blanchardstown."

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