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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Multi-storey car park use increases after introduction of parking incentives

USE at the city's multi-storey car parks has increased sharply since the introduction of new incentives earlier this year.

However, concerns have been raised about the lack of use of the city's park-and-ride, which remains half empty despite the addition of new incentives.

City Hall introduced new measures to increase use at Paul Street and North Main Street car parks in mid-April amid the row surrounding the introduction of new traffic restrictions on Patrick Street.

Under the changes, users of the multi-storey car parks get four hours for the price of two between midday at 6pm daily.

Cllr Nicholas O'Keeffe
Cllr Nicholas O'Keeffe
Figures issued to Fianna Fáil councillor Nicholas O'Keeffe show a gradual increase in use at each of the city facilities.

In the first three months of the year, 146,000 vehicles used Paul Street car park, with just over 40,000 using North Main Street.

In April and May, which includes the first six weeks of the new incentives, 111,000 vehicles used Paul Street, with a further 31,000 in North Main Street.

The average use at Paul Street increased from 48,000 vehicles per month to 55,000, while North Main Street has gone from 13,500 to 15,500.

There has also been a gradual increase at the Black Ash park and ride, where access is free from midday six days a week. The facility averaged 11,069 vehicles per month for the first three months of the year, with this figure now exceeding 12,000 for the past two months.

While the increases are modest, they have been welcomed by Cllr O'Keeffe.

He said that the new incentives have clearly had an impact already.

"We can take from this that the free parking incentives introduced during the Patrick Street car ban have worked, occupancy levels are up and the resultant footfall to the city is to be welcomed," he said.

Mr O'Keeffe did express a concern about the poor occupancy at the Black Ash park and ride, which remains largely empty even after the incentives were introduced.

In May, the 935-space facility hosted 12,477 cars, an average of just 462 per day at the amenity, which operates six days a week.

Mr O'Keeffe said, "It appears that Council will have to introduce further incentives to boost occupancy there. As a minimum, I would suggest extending the opening hours to later in the evening and making the facility available for matches and special event parking, perhaps at special prices."