South Dublin County Council has netted €1.4m in three years from parking meters and fines, totalling over €752,000 in Lucan alone.
The council made almost €270,000 in fines during 2011, with more than 10,000 fines being issued for parking related offences in South Dublin County Council each year, at €40 increasing to €60 after 28 days.
Commenting on these figures, Cllr William Lavelle (FG) said: “It seems Lucan Village is proving a ‘cash cow’ for South Dublin County Council when it comes to pay parking.
“I appreciate the need for some form of parking control so as to prevent all-day parking, but I don’t think we should be using pay-parking as a cash generator. I believe the profits being made from parking in Lucan Village justifies the need for a radical review of pay-parking so as to reduce costs for visitors and shoppers and to support the commercial life of our village.
“I would propose introduction of at least 30 minutes, if not a full hour, of free parking.”
Clondalkin Cllr Trevor Gilligan (FF), believes there should be a “free” allocation before parking charges kick in.
Cllr Gilligan said the council needs to move away from seeing parking charges as a revenue raiser for local authorities and said the focus should instead be on taking the hassle out of parking in villages for people, encouraging more people to shop and support local business.
“Fianna Fail has published a policy document, Streets Ahead, which proposes changing the parking charges structure and creating a more flexible system that encourages short term stays, rewards return shoppers and removes disproportionate fines.
“We want to see a graded parking fee structure which would involve lower costs for shorter stays and I believe drivers should have a free allocation during the first hour of parking,” he said.
Cllr Gilligan added: “Essentially, the focus should be on taking the hassle out of parking in villages for people, supporting local business and encouraging more people to shop in villages.
South Dublin County Council were unable to comment by the time of going to press.