Dublin Airport parking ‘out of control’ for Swords residents, says SF Cllr

by Aishling Conway
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As Irish holiday makers flock to Dublin Airport and off to sunnier shores, the lack of adequate car parking spaces at the airports has become a nightmare for Swords residents, says Cllr Ann Graves, writes Rose Barrett.

The Sinn Féin councillor is herself a resident of Swords Manor and is experiencing first hand the impact of airport travellers ‘abandoning’ their cars in estates across the town. And as the number of passengers flying from Dublin Airport increases for the summer period, Cllr Graves says the issue is going to continue till September.

More residents working from home, more cars per house

Cllr Ann Graves SF is also a resident of Swords and says the number of airport passengers parking their cars in Swords is now at crisis point (as the closure of Quickpark means 6,000 less car spaces serving the airport)

“Firstly, there are several compounding factors to this issue. The first is the closure of the QuikPick car par in Santry, only minutes from the airport, which has 6,000 car spaces. Pre-Covid, this was a massively popular option with discounts for pre-paid bookings.

“Secondly, many people are still working from home despite the lifting of Covid restrictions. Throw in the housing crisis and the lack of affordable housing in Dublin, and you have private residences with as many as three to four and more cars required.

“Take my house, I and my husband have cars, as do my two adult sons. They have to drive to work, public transport won’t suffice and they have no hope as yet of buying an affordable home in the near future. Plus my daughter and family visit regularly.

“The QuikPick car park went up for sale and the daa was the highest bidder. However, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPPC) are reviewing the daa’s purchase to ensure they don’t have an unfair monopoly.

Quikpark must be re-opened urgently!

“Meanwhile the June to September holiday makers are finding there are no spaces to be booked in the airport’s long and short term car parks. They’re booked up! And what the residents of Holywell, Swords Manor and Rivervalley are experiencing is parking overload!”

Cllr Graves says there are cars parked for one and two weeks in the estates, even longer in some cases!

“The situation is totally out of control now,” she said. “As they can’t park at the airport, they are driving into estates around Swords and taking the bus or taxi to the departure terminals.”

Cllr Graves said she even heard of residents renting their driveways to airport passengers!  Residents are finding they might go out to shop, drop or collect children to summer camps and on their return, their kerbside car space is gone, and held by an airport passenger for up to two weeks!

“Residents are putting wheelie bins and cones outside their properties to prevent the issue – when another family members arrive home, they have to drive around trying to find a space anywhere in the area!”

Cllr Graves noted that, even with increased taxis and buses appointed at Dublin Airport, she had to collect family coming home as the queues for taxis in horrendous weather was appalling.

Whilst Cllr Graves wouldn’t like to see the daa get the monopoly on car parking at Dublin Airport, she would like to see the daa do a month by month contract with the previous owners and at least, cater for the high season parking demand.

The daa declined to comment on the matter. “The timelines for the process are set by the CPCC as part of their examination into the deal.”

A further issue, noted Cllr Graves, is the lack of footpaths from the Knocksedan estate. “This development was built about 20 years ago, and there are still no footpaths!

Feature photo Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport

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