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Friday 9 December 2016

Parking meter that cost €8k 'a waste of money'

Parking meter in front of O'Shea's Pub, Clonskeagh
Parking meter in front of O'Shea's Pub, Clonskeagh

A PARKING meter which has cost over €8k to install and maintain is being branded "a waste of money" after it has so far failed to recuperate its costs.

Located on the Clonskeagh Road, Co Dublin, the meter has brought in just €2,155 in revenue since construction in June 2014, while costing €650-a-year to maintain - meaning Dublin City Council (DCC) is currently almost €6,000 in debt.

The installation of the parking meter scheme is also being blamed as "one of the reasons" why a financially struggling pub had to close its doors.

O'Shea's pub in Clonskeagh, closed four months ago due to financial difficulty.

A source close to the pub said that the pay parking scheme was "the final nail in the coffin".

The source claimed that the meter contributed to a loss in revenue for the pub which meant the owner had to shut it down four months ago.

"They were paying the rent for the car park but in the end couldn't afford to pay it and that's why the meters went in," the source said.

business

"It was the contribution of a lot of things over the years - the drink-driving laws, people drinking at home and then this.

"It did play a part in the closure of the business," the source said.

Local councillor Dermot Lacey said he believed the meter to be "a waste of money" and that the council had sank local business in the area.

"The pub was struggling, like a lot of pubs are, and then they charge them even further and it's not even making any kind of a profit," he said.

"They went and put a meter in there for no justifiable reason when there were disputes between councillors, local business and the council over it in the first place.

"At the time I questioned the justification for it and said it would contribute to the closure and I was proved correct," he said.

DCC acknowledged it had spent more than €8,000 on the meter, but said the majority of the costs were related to the installation.

A council spokesperson insisted the scheme was "not running at a loss" and said the capital cost of €7,500 would be recouped "over the course of the next few years".

"The regulation of parking is not driven purely for profit but also to accord with the council's traffic management policies," the spokesperson said.

When asked if the pay parking scheme contributed to the closure of local business, the spokesperson declined to comment.

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