Out-of-town retailers should be obliged to charge for car parking - Senator

Coghlan introduces Bill to ‘level playing field’ for under pressure town centre retailers

Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan will this week publish his private member’s Valuation (Amendment) Bill, which he said aimed to “level the playing field” between small retailers affected by high charge on-street parking in town centres and out-of-town superstores where parking is free. Photograph: David Sleator

Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan will this week publish his private member’s Valuation (Amendment) Bill, which he said aimed to “level the playing field” between small retailers affected by high charge on-street parking in town centres and out-of-town superstores where parking is free. Photograph: David Sleator

Mon, Dec 16, 2013, 01:00

A Bill establishing commercial rates for out-of-town retail car parking space is to be introduced in the Seanad to oblige owners to start charging for parking.

Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan will this week publish his private member’s Valuation (Amendment) Bill, which he said aimed to “level the playing field” between small retailers affected by high charge on-street parking in town centres and out-of-town superstores where parking is free. The legislation is expected to be discussed in the Upper House early in the new year.

Mr Coghlan said the legislation aimed to encourage retailers to introduce such charges outside towns and cities.

He said small retailers in town centres “are being crippled by the high parking charges being imposed in town centres across the country”.

The Bill would regulate parking charges in local authority areas to provide revenue for local authorities and facilitate “the active management of town-centre parking facilities and encourage sustainable transport and travel patterns”.

Town centres’

The Kerry Senator said local authorities would be obliged to ensure that parking schemes were prepared for all parking facilities

within their localities.“I strongly feel that this Bill would help bring shoppers back to town centres and balance the draw of out-of-town superstores with free parking,” he said.

Mr Coghlan, who was nominated to the Seanad by RGData, the representative group for independent, family-owned shops, said “the current situation where town centres are being disadvantaged by free out-of-town parking is damaging and unsustainable”.

News - direct to your inbox

Which Daily Digest would you like?

Politics on Twitter

Connect