PARKING meters are needed in Cork city and the archaic system of paper parking discs should be abolished the Cork Business Association (CBA) has said.
CBA President Pat O'Connell said huge work has been put into the improvement's to the city centre streets, footpaths and lighting and organising the Christmas festival but parking was still an issue.
He was reacting to figures showing almost 100 parking fines being issued in Cork every day.
Traffic wardens issued 29,755 parking fines up to the end of October, an average of 98 fines every single day.
This is a slight decrease from the same time as last year, when more than 31,000 fines had been handed out.
However, the trend has prompted some fear amongst city businesses, who claim that out-dated parking laws are pushing shoppers out of the city centre ahead of Christmas.
Mr Connell said the figures prove that parking meters are long overdue in the city centre.
42% of all fines handed out in Cork city are for the failure to display a valid parking disc, with Mr O'Connell claiming that this is also proof that the paper parking disc system is not fit-for-purpose.
"The system is so out-dated, it's crazy," he said.
"Parking meters are overdue in the city. For a start, discs just aren't available in many places in the city."
More than 2,000 fines have been handed out on the South Mall, the area with the highest total in the city centre. Patrick St (1,254), Morrison's Quay (717) and Grand Parade (738) are all among the areas where motorists are most likely to be ticketed.
The market trader said that the antiquated parking mechanism undermines the good work done in the city.
"What is the point in doing so much good work in terms of the public realm and the Christmas markets if we are going to make it so difficult for people to come into the city," he asked.
"We need to make it as easy as possible to get people in to the city centre to shop at this time of year."
Cork Business Association has called for the installation of parking meters throughout the city as a priority. Mr O'Connell said the organisation is optimistic that they will be added 'sooner rather than later.'