Car parking charges generate more than €360 million a year for local authorities and private industry in Ireland, a European parking conference in Dublin will hear today.
Irish cities and towns have more than 350,000 paid parking spaces but most are off-street in car parks, a Europe-wide survey has found.
It identified that there was potential to generate far more income from parking if more on-street or “kerbside” spaces were to be metered.
Local authorities do best from parking charges with revenues of some €115 million, according to the Irish Parking Association, the private and public sector representative body which is hosting the conference.
Private car parks have revenues of €80 million and car parks at railway stations and other transport hubs generate €70 million.
Shopping centre car parks have revenues of €50 million; parking at hotels and hospitals have combined revenues of €25 million; and equipment suppliers have revenues of €15 million.
Miscellaneous associated services produce a combined total of €5 million.
The industry as a whole contributes more than €100 million to the exchequer, and directly employs more than 1,500 people in Ireland, the association said.
Across Europe the industry is estimated to be worth more than €20 billion and employs 500,000 people.
Most of Ireland’s paid parking is off-street in car parks with about 270,000 spaces, compared with 85,000 on-streets paid parking spaces.
Across Europe the ratio of off-street to on-street is far closer with almost 22 million off-street spaces compared to 12 million on-street paid parking spaces.
However, the European Parking Association estimates that far more “kerbside” spaces in city centres could be made to pay.
The association will tell the conference that its survey of the scope of the industry across Europe shows there are more than 190 million currently free spaces which represent a potential source of revenue.
The conference is being held at the National Convention Centre and will be opened by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.
It will be attended by almost 500 delegates and will hear from Irish and international experts .
Speakers include the secretary general from the Department of Transport Tom O'Mahony, Dublin city engineer Michael Phillips and Transport for London director of traffic Alan Bristow.
Topics are set to include innovative parking solutions in a Georgian city, cashless on-street parking, whether paid parking is killing the high street, lessons in parking from the London Olympics 2012, and a wireless parking experiment in San Francisco.