Photo credit: Gript

Significant increases in parking charges considered

The National Transport Authority has published models of how Ireland’s transport climate targets could be met, including massively increasing parking charges, substantially reducing speed limits on certain roads, and more.

Under the model, a daily charge of €10 for driving could be imposed in cities, including Cork, Dublin, Waterford, Limerick and Galway. This would mean that to drive every day would cost city motorists €280 a month, not including fuel and parking costs.

In addition to this, parking charges could be raised by 400% from 2016 levels. In addition, the modelling proposes reducing the speed limit on national roads by 20 km/h, in an effort to slow vehicles down and make car travel less efficient.

This would be done in conjunction with halving public transport fares, so that as car travel becomes extremely expensive and cumbersome, bus and train travel is made more attractive. The projected end result is a drop in car ownership in cities and towns by anywhere from 10% to 14%.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan is reportedly set to present a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday laying out the plan to reduce car usage nationally by 2030.

This Annex of Actions document is reportedly set to include plans such as enforcing low-traffic neighbourhoods by removing space on the road for vehicles, and increasing fuel prices on top of the annual carbon tax increase.

This will also entail establishing an inter-departmental group whose goal is ensuring that the transport sector meets its carbon reduction targets.

According to the Irish Examiner, one Fine Gael TD expressed frustration with the plan, saying that it would “choke” city centres and damage businesses.

Green policies have been highly contentious within the the government coalition, with Fine Gael and Green Party TDs running into conflict over a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Kerry.

Additionally, Fine Gael TDs reportedly clashed with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan over his proposed turf ban, saying that the plan was so unpopular it could bring down the government.

Last year Fianna Fáil TD hit out at Eamon Ryan, saying that his retro-fitting plan was an example of “ideology gone mad.”

Before that, Young Fine Gael, the party’s youth wing, called on the government to cancel the carbon tax hike.

Green issues have been contentious among the government parties since the coalition formed, and it remains to be seen how Ryan’s latest plans will be received by the cabinet.

In January of this year Gript questioned Finance Minister Michael McGrath on his government’s scheduled carbon tax hike, asking if he would consider scrapping the plan amid the ongoing energy crisis.

The Minister replied in the negative, saying that carbon tax was needed to invest in making people’s “homes warmer” through retro-fitting.

The link to that interview can be viewed below.

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