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The cost of on-street parking charges in Dublin city centre could increase by some 40 per cent to more than €4 an hour next year as Dublin City Council seeks to recoup the cost of running the service.
The new rates would 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 change, which would represent the first hike in parking charges in a decade, would require city councillors to approve new bylaws. Independent councillor Nial Ring said the charges should not be increased.
The council says 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.
“As the demand for coin has decreased significantly the cost of the contract to Dublin City Council is expected to increase significantly. 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.”
Increasing the charge for coins only would make the tariff structure overly complex, the council said. 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.
Mr Ring said raising the charge would drive shoppers out of the city.
“Increasing the tariff would disincentivise people from coming into town and drive them towards the suburban shopping centre. What we need to do is encourage more people to use the parking tag system and move away from coin.”
The number of paid parking spaces on the city streets has fallen by almost 6,000 to just over 29,000, since the last increase in charges in 2008.
In the last two years alone, about 500 spaces were lost to facilitate the new Luas Cross City line, and another 250 spaces were removed to make provision for car club and electric vehicle bays, Dublin Bike stations, and other bike parking and street improvement works.
An additional 300 spaces are expected to be lost due to provision of cycle parking for recently approved “stationless” bikes and 200 more spaces will be removed to facilitate new cycle tracks in the city. The majority of parking spaces lost are located in the city centre, the highest tariff “yellow” zone.