The proposed hike in day parking rates from €5 to €6.50, scheduled to come into effect on February 1, must be cancelled.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil senator, Ollie Crowe, who has written to the city manager, Brendan McGrath, requesting him to “reconsider” the increase, which he called “gouging…madness and totally unacceptable”.
Sen Crowe [pictured below] said the €1.50 increase was a jump of 30 per cent that would work out at more than €300 a year. “This is at a time when the cost of living is rising generally,” he said. “For many people €300 is close to a weeks’ wages. We need some common sense to apply here”.
He also said the hike would deter many people coming into the city centre and that this would have a knock-on effect on businesses.
“We already have a considerable number of empty units across Galway city,” he said. “Moves like this will only increase that number. These businesses pay rates of €40 million every year to the council. The least they are entitled to is some degree of support coming out of Covid-19, not a move that further deters visitors to the city.”
Sen Crowe noted that some cities have offered reduced rates, while in Athlone, there is even free parking for certain periods.