Dublin City Parking Policy

Report to
September 2010.
Economic Development, Planning
And International affairs
Strategic policy Committee.

Parking Policy in Dublin City.

Dublin City Council Policies.
The transportation policies of Dublin City Council are stated in the current development plan. It is the stated policy of the City Council to encourage modal shift from the private car to increased use of more sustainable modes such as public transport, cycling and walking.

Car parking control is one recognised method of encouraging this shift in modal choice. The development plan includes a pro-active parking policy which is intended to discourage all day commuter parking. Parking provision associated with offices etc is strictly limited as a means of influencing travel mode. However, the development plan also seeks to provide an adequate supply of short term parking for shopping, business and leisure use.
Importance of City Centre Business.
The city centre retail businesses are of major importance to the economic wellbeing of the city and indeed the Irish economy. Currently there are 4000 shops and 10 department stores in the city centre providing employment for 25,000 people. These stores are estimated to contribute €800 million to Government coffers made up of corporation tax, VAT, and PRSI/PAYE (DCBA).

Car Shoppers.

Car borne shoppers are of crucial importance to city centre business.
A 2009 survey of all shoppers carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes, Market Research showed that convenient access to parking ranked 2nd in a range of measures which would attract more shoppers to the city. (The measure most likely to attract shoppers was value for money).
The same survey showed that the car is the main mode of access to the city for 27% of all visitors to the city centre. This rises to 40% for people travelling with children.

The Dublin Transportation Office Household Survey, 2006 found that the car is the travel means of choice for 57% of shopping trips across the Dublin Region.
Based on the usage of multi storey car parks the DCBA has estimated that the total number of car borne shoppers is around 30 million per annum. The average spend by these car borne shoppers is €70 and the total spend in each year by these shoppers is approximately €2.1 billion (DCBA). However this is likely to be an underestimate as it does not include shoppers who avail of the on street car parking or the number of shoppers who are dropped into town by their spouses.

The car borne shoppers include, to a large extent, the high end shoppers upon whom the top retailers depend. These are highly mobile individuals who are quite prepared to transfer their business to other cities abroad.
It is considered that further research is warranted in this area.

Parking Provision in the city centre..

The availability of convenient accessible car parking is vital in order to attract in the car borne shopper. To this end Dublin City Council has pursued the following policies:-
• All on street parking where demand exists has been controlled by the
introduction of pay and display parking.
• Parking Tariffs are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are pitched
correctly to ensure turnover and therefore availability.
• Off street car parks are required to have progressive tariffs to
discourage all day commuter parking and to ensure availability of spaces for shoppers.
• The parking guidance system has been upgraded to give clearer guidance
for motorists seeking parking places.
Overall the parking supply in the city centre is considered adequate for most of the year. There are 11,175 off street car parking spaces available in the City Centre. These are turned over an average of 3 times per day (DCBA). Observation in the multi storey car parks shows that the average occupancy of each car is 2.5. In addition there are approximately 7,500 on street parking places in the central area. Surveys at the main city centre car parks show good availability at all times apart from the last few weeks before Christmas. On the Saturdays in December many of the car parks are full by 12 noon. However, it would make no economic sense to attempt to provide additional space in the city centre to cater for this short term demand. Each year initiatives are forwarded as part of Operation Freeflow to address this additional demand by extra public transport provision and this would seem to be the most rational approach to addressing this short term problem.

A survey carried out in 2006 by Behaviour and Attitude market research found that there was a negative attitude to access to the city. Further, this survey also identified the cost of off street car parking as an issue.
It would be considered worthwhile to carry out further work on putting out the message that it is easy to get into the city by car or by public transport and that there is a good supply of parking convenient to all the major retailers.

Parking in residential areas.

The current development plan sets out the required parking provision for all new residential development. These are as follows
Zone 1 1 space per dwelling with 2 or more bedrooms,
1 space per 2 one bedroom units.
Zone 2 1 per dwelling.
Zone 3 1.5 per dwelling.
It should be noted that these are maximum standards and lower levels of provision may be acceptable close to public transport facilities. The development plan is currently under review and the recommendation from the Roads and Traffic Department is that the restriction on parking spaces at single bedroom units in zone 1 should be relaxed to allow 1 space per unit.
In many existing residential areas there is a severe problem of lack of supply of on street space for parking. In many locations houses do not have off street parking or the possibility of providing this. In some of the more affluent inner suburbs the problem is aggravated by the level of multiple car ownership. It is not uncommon for the residents of a house with a 6 metre frontage to own 2 or more cars.
To add to this problem many of these streets are narrow and cannot accommodate legal parking on both sides of the street.
It is the policy of Dublin City Council to introduce Residential Pay and Display parking in residential areas which are afflicted by commuter parking or parking associated with local shops or other businesses. These schemes are introduced where requested by the residents after an assessment of the actual extent of any problem and following a vote by the residents.
The Roads and Traffic department is currently arranging for a study of the safety implications of the introduction of legalised footway parking and the impact of such parking on the visually impaired .
The Roads and Traffic Department recently hosted a workshop on parking policy and practice. This workshop considered such issues as parking for major events, parking in residential areas and parking for business. At the request of the Chairman of the Transportation and Traffic SPC it is proposed to hold a series of single purpose meetings to progress the proposals identified by the workshop.

Tim O’Sullivan
Executive Manager
Roads and Traffic Department.