Parking charges raise €360m yearly

They might be the bane of motorists like John Waters but parking charges are generating more than €360m each year in Ireland.

Parking charges raise €360m yearly

A new report on the value of the sector to the Irish economy claims it also supports 1,500 jobs and contributes in excess of €100m to the exchequer.

Details of the report were published at the 16th European Parking Congress which opened at the National Convention Centre in Dublin yesterday.

According to the research, there are more than 353,000 car parking spaces in Irish cities and towns, including some 269,000 off-street car parking spaces and a further 84,300 on-street spaces.

It is estimated that local authorities around the country obtain €115m per annum in revenue from parking fees, while private car park operators generate €80m in fees.

Other beneficiaries include shopping centres (€50m), hotels and hospitals (€25m) and transport hubs such as airports and railway stations (€70m).

The conference heard that the parking industry across Europe is worth an estimated €30bn in revenue from 47m car park spaces.

Opening the conference, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said the provision of parking was very important for urban mobility.

“A well-regulated and managed parking regime can enhance a town significantly, while a parking free-for-all increases congestion, slows traffic and can even cause unnecessary trips to be made,” said Mr Varadkar.

However, business groups in many Irish towns have complained that parking fees charged by local authorities are driving consumers towards out-of-town centres to the detriment of many small retailers.

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