Local cyclists slam parking levy proposal

Members of a local cycling campaign are calling for local TDs to take action as they claim that the new parking levy proposal in the Finance Bill 2008 is “farcical, self-defeating and grossly unfair”.

The Galway Cycling Campaign (GCC ) is calling on the TDs in Galway to reject the newly announced Finance Bill 2008, which includes a controversial parking levy proposal that will see employees based in Ireland’s five major cities liable to pay a €200 fee for parking should they drive their car into the city for work.

The group said last week that the proposal, which will be enacted by the Oireachtas by February 2009 if passed, is “grossly unfair”.

“What this seems to mean is that even if only once a month you happen bring your car to collect the kids, do the shopping or whatever you are liable for the full €200 levy,” said Shane Foran, the chair of the GCC. According to the members the only other way out of the levy is to submit a declaration that the assigned parking space will never be used. “In our view this measure provides an incentive for increasing the use of private cars and increased congestion.”

The group called the levy a “slap in the face” for those car owners who make every effort to walk, cycle, or use public transport whenever possible.

The cyclists also questioned the value of the proposed tax relief scheme for new bicycles, claiming that while the tax relief was welcome they did not see it as a way of getting more people cycling, as intermittent cyclists will still face the loss of €1,000 over five years via the parking levy, yet will only save €100 over those years on the purchase of a decent bicycle.

 

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