Outrage at 50pc rise in parking fines, fees
MOTORISTS in Dun Laoghaire paid out a staggering €6.2m in parking fees and fines last year -- a 50pc increase on 2009.
The 2010 figure of €6,225,334 was revealed in Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown County Council documents obtained by Independent Cllr Victor Boyhan.
Cllr Boyhan criticised the charges as "nothing but a stealth tax".
"Almost all of this was collected in Dun Laoghaire. There has been aggressive targeting of motorists," said Mr Boyhan. "During the snow in December people who had to abandon their cars found tickets on their windscreens the next morning."
Mr Boyhan, who is running in the election as an independent, claimed wardens are "working in pairs and hiding in alleyways" to nab drivers when they stop.
"The town centre is in severe decline and, with increases in rates and the fall off in trade because people can't afford to park, the Council is strangling the town," he said.
The council meeting on Monday is to focus on parking following a flood of complaints from constituents.
Two separate motions have been put to overturn County Manager Owen Keegan's decision to change the parking permit system.
Under the planned new regime, Dun Laoghaire will be divided into different parking zones, with different permits.
A council spokeswoman pointed out the figure referred to by Mr Boyhan is for all of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and not just the town. "The council is conscious of the difficulties facing businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses in the county, primarily as a result of the severe decline in the economy," she said.
Meanwhile, the local community association said a substantial majority of the council voted in favour of restricting parking permits and now all the main parties are turning against it.