Call for Irish cities to look to European parking measures to reduce congestion

Call for Irish cities to look to European parking measures to reduce congestion

Irish cities can look to public parking measures in European counterparts such as Barcelona and Copenhagen in a bid to reduce pollution and congestion.

That is according to a report presented to the Department of Transport on how to encourage more sustainable and healthier forms of travel in Cork, Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, and Galway.

Although congestion charges of up to €10 were presented as an option for Cork and Dublin, better so-called “public parking controls” are believed to be measures the department will look at more closely.

Public parking controls include pay parking, multistorey car parks, permits, and other measures aimed at controlling the number of vehicles in city centres like Cork, Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, and Galway, which all have been strangled at various times in recent years due to the sheer volume.

“Parking controls and pricing is the most widely used transport demand management measure and is applied in most cities across Europe and beyond,” the report by public transport expert consultants Systra said.

Barcelona and Strasbourg were hailed by the consultants as prime examples of good practice.

“Barcelona uses the surplus revenue from on-street parking charges to finance a public bicycle sharing scheme. In Strasbourg, there has been significant success with park and ride sites. 

“As the city expanded its tram network, parking control zones were expanded, and parking spaces were reallocated to sustainable modes. The parking removed from the city was relocated to park and ride sites at the end of the tram lines.

“Combined, these measures resulted in a 28% decrease in the number of cars entering the city over an 18-year period up to 2011,” it said.

Copenhagen hailed as model for success

Copenhagen was also hailed as a model for success, stripping out parking space in favour of bikes and paths.

“Copenhagen removed hundreds of parking spaces in the city centre and created high-quality pedestrian districts and cycle facilities. The city has also designed play-streets with traffic calming measures and, for example, former parking spaces replaced by wooden picnic tables or cargo bike parking. 

“Parking charge

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