City parking prices to be cut to bring in shoppers
CITY motorists will soon be able to take advantage of reduced city parking fees on special occasions.
Councillors have signalled their approval for plans which are aimed at encouraging more people into the capital.
The move, if implemented, will mean city manager John Tierney can set lower rates to encourage shopping or attendance at particular events.
The proposed change to the parking bye-laws will now be put out to public consultation and should be in place before Christmas.
"It will give the manager a bit of flexibility if there are any special events -- it will allow us to promote them," Labour's Andrew Montague, chairman of the council's transport strategic policy committee told the Herald.
"It will allow changes to be made quickly for one-off events."
The committee gave its approval to the measure being placed before the public for submissions.
As things stand, any changes to the parking fees have to go through a lengthy process before they can be implemented. It is planned to set a maximum rate in each zone, with the city centre yellow zone being the most expensive at €2.90 per hour.
However, a new clause is to be inserted into the bye-laws.
Mr Montague suggested a Christmas-time reduction in parking costs could be put in place to encourage shopping.
The move came despite a previous proposal for a new Thursday evening and Saturday tariff in the very heavy demand zones receiving the thumbs down from council officials.
The plan had been to reduce the cost of parking in the yellow zone by 90 cent per hour and in the red zone by 40 cent per hour.
However, a survey showed parking occupancy rates of 87pc on Thursday evening between 6pm and 9pm and 83pc on Saturday between 10am and 4pm, Mr O'Sullivan said.
"These rates are very high and effectively represent maximum occupancy. In the circumstances, the objective of attracting more shoppers into the city centre, which was the intent of this proposal, could not be met by reducing parking tariffs as suggested," he added.