IRELAND’S major cities expect to earn in excess of €51 million in car parking fees this year – a figure of almost €1m every week.
With cash-strapped local authorities owed in the region of €500 million by developers in development levies, rent and rates arrears and unpaid refuse charges, car parking fees offer a much-needed and valuable source of revenue.
According to figures from the local authority budgets for 2010, Ireland’s main centres will earn in excess of €51m in parking fees alone.
Dublin City Council tops the list and, according to its annual budget for 2010, it is expected to earn more than €30m this year in car parking fees.
Meanwhile, the council’s total expenditure on car parking for this year will be less than half that figure at €13,711,693.
Next on the list is Cork City Council, which estimates it will earn approximately €10,805,000 from locals and visitors wishing to park in the city.
The total expenditure the local authority will make on car parking is just over €6m.
Galway City Council expects to take in €4,646,915, with Limerick and Waterford city councils estimating car parking revenue of €2,717,111 and €3,024,147 respectively.
Larger towns such as Dundalk, Ennis, Killarney, Longford, Naas, Navan and Tralee all expect to earn in excess of €1m in car parking fees for 2010, while Clonmel, Sligo and Kilkenny predict revenues of over €2m.
Commenting on the figures, chief executive of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland Dermott Jewell said, although it is Government policy to encourage people to leave their cars at home, for some people it was not an option.
“There is almost a stand-off on a number of issues here. Clearly, there are insufficient parking spaces in our main cities. The Government are encouraging people to leave their cars at home. However, the frustration here is that, this is not an option for everyone, yet car parking fees escalate,” said Mr Jewell.
“The end result is that due to these charges, you have consumers taking chances and parking illegally which brings up the issue of clamping and the cost to consumers that will incur.
“The figures show there is plenty of room for a reduction in car parking fees and an improvement in terms of the cost of the service,” he said.
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