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Car Parking is a Waste of Space

This article was published in the Evening Echo on 11/04/2018

ON-street car parking in the city is a “waste of space” and more parking spots should be removed and prices hiked up, according to a UCC economics expert.

Frank Crowley has risked angering city traders by saying that cheap parking should be ended, prices hiked up, and more spaces taken out of the city centre to improve congestion.

Traders in the city continue to vent their anger at the imminent loss of more than 160 car spaces and have called for an end to the recently-introduced Patrick Street car ban, which operates daily from 3pm to 6.30pm.

However, Dr Crowley said ‘cheap parking’ is actually clogging up the city centre and insisted that there were too many parking spaces already.

He described Cork as sprawling and congested and called for increased on-street parking charges in the city centre and a levy placed on parking in the suburban areas such as Mahon Point.

Dr Crowley said: “If you reduce parking you are likely to get more walkers, more people coming by bus, more cyclists, more people who actually want to enjoy the city centre because it is a nicer place to be.

“We know from studies internationally that business actually increases when the city is made a nicer place to live or a nicer place to visit or a nicer place to spend time.”

The UCC economics lecturer also said that employers such as Cork City Council or University College Cork (UCC) need to lead by example to reduce car dependency throughout the city region and one way of doing that would be to charge for staff parking.

Dr Crowley said cheap parking in the city has a big part to play in the congestion problem currently being experienced.