Dublin Chamber says dearer parking may drive out businesses

Proposed city parking charges of €4 a hour will ‘erode attractiveness’ of city centre

Parking costs: Graeme McQueen, Dublin Chamber’s head of public affairs, said on-street parking is “relied upon by businesses on a daily basis”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Parking costs: Graeme McQueen, Dublin Chamber’s head of public affairs, said on-street parking is “relied upon by businesses on a daily basis”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Dublin Chamber of Commerce has said increasing the cost of parking at meters on the streets would risk driving businesses out of the city centre.

On-street parking charges in Dublin city centre could increase to more than €4 an hour next year as Dublin City Council seeks to recoup the cost of running the service.

The new rates could range from about 90 cent in the outer suburbs to €4.15 in the city centre, where the current cost of an hour’s parking is €2.90.

The chamber said any increase in parking charges would “significantly erode the attractiveness of the Dublin city centre as a place to visit and to do business”.

Graeme McQueen, Dublin Chamber’s head of public affairs, said the availability of on-street parking is “relied upon by businesses on a daily basis”.

“While public transport is a good option for shoppers and tourists, many business people rely on their cars to get around the city centre to attend meetings and visit clients,” Mr McQueen said.

“Any increase in parking charges would make the city centre a less attractive place to base headquarters or set up office. Any price hike could lead to more businesses opting to locate outside the M50.”

Budget meeting

The change, which would represent the first rise in parking charges in a decade, would require city councillors to approve new bylaws.

Dublin City Council is due to have a budget meeting on Monday, November 13th. The council said its draft budget “does not contain any provision for increasing parking charges”.

The council has said it is facing higher costs from next year for the collection of coins from meters. Mobile phone and credit card payment systems are available but more than half of motorists continue to pay with coins, it said.

The current contract for cash collection was agreed at a time of “historically low” costs and high demand for coin, the council said. It is required to readvertise the contract next year when the cost to the council is expected to increase significantly because the demand for coin has decreased greatly.

Independent councillor Nial Ring said: “It would have to go through the Transport SPC [Strategic Policy Committee] and then to a full council meeting. Luckily in this case, this is what’s called a reserved function – it means only councillors can decide on this.

“The appetite among myself and fellow councillors is not to go ahead with this . . . I think that it won’t be going any further.”

Coin collection

The council said: “The current budget in 2017 for coin collection is €700,000 and increased costs indicate that this could potentially be as high as €1.4 million in 2018.”

To cover the increased cost of coin collection, parking charges in all zones would need to increase. The “yellow” zone, from Dorset Street to Ballsbridge would need to increase from €2.90 to €4.15 per hour; the “red” zone, from Phibsborough to Donnybrook from €2.40 to €3.43; the “green” zone from Drumcondra to Milltown from €1.60 to €2.29; the “orange”, covering most of the rest of the council area from €1 to €1.43; and the “blue”zone in suburban villages from 60 cent to 89 cent.