Irish motorists fork out €360 million a year … to park!



It seems to be a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t: if the spiralling cost of diesel doesn’t get you, then the price of parking the vehicle will!

Today’s Irish Times reports that car parking charges generate more than €360 million a year for local authorities and private industry in Ireland.

A Europe-wide survey has found that Irish cities and towns have more than 350,000 paid parking spaces (but most are off-street in car parks), identifying that there was potential to generate even more income from parking if more on-street or kerbside spaces were metered.

Local authorities are the main beneficiaries from 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 a conference on European parking in Dublin today.

Private car parks boast revenues of €80 million and car parks at railway stations and other transport hubs generate €70 million per annum. 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.

Meanwhile, miscellaneous associated services produce a combined total of €5 million. The parking industry – there’s a new one on me! - contributes more than €100 million to the exchequer and directly employs more than 1,500 people in Ireland, according to the Association.