Sunday, January 21, 2007

Parking in D(e)L(e)R(ium)CoCo

My next door neighbour recently wrote to Owen Keegan, County Manager Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo), to protest about the recent installation of parking meters on the streets immediately adjacent to Glenageary DART station.

He pointed out that one consequence of this would be to move parked cars out onto the narrow Upper Albert Road and into our quiet cul-de-sac, where children still play on the street in relative safety.

Mr Keegan has responded, defending the council’s policy of installing meters at DART stations. He pointed out that DLRCoCo already imposes parking charges at Blackrock & Salthill stations, that Luas Park & Ride sites are metered and that Iarnród Eireann will introduce charges for car-parks under their control.

With regard to the problem of parking moving further afield, Mr Keegan offers the following solution: “If the implementation of paid parking controls on Station Road caused parking problems on other roads in the area the Council will be happy to implement parking controls (with residents permits) on these roads.”

This offer is clearly a cynical two-fingered response to a genuine local concern. The offer to extend metered parking even further into the suburbs can only be seen as further proof that this is an opportunistic fund-raising scam, a further example of stealth taxes in action.

It should also be pointed out that the Luas provided new car-parks, involving the acquisition and conversion of property, and their ongoing maintenance. The car-parks under the control of Iarnród Eireann are company property used for parking rather than some other revenue-generating purpose, whereas DLRCoCo is charging for parking alongside the pavement, without providing any additional parking.

Mr Keegan now intends to introduce clamping in the DLRCoCo area, another money-raising scam which will be dressed up in some guise as being for the benefit of those who live and work in the borough. Who does he think he’s fooling?

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