Nearly 68% of Irish motorists say they are opposed to the new €200 parking levy planned for Irish cities. 25.6% of motorists said that they favoured the idea. The results are based on a poll of over 1,500 motorists carried out by the AA last week and come as a blow to government plans for the levy, scheduled to be introduced initially in Dublin before the Autumn.
“This Levy is a very poor idea.” Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan. “It purports to be a tax designed to discourage people from driving into town so that they choose public transport instead. This is objectionable because so many of us do not have a public transport option, but even if we did this levy is actually likely to have the opposite effect.”
Because the levy is charged annually, the motorist is faced with the choice to either give up the parking space permanently and never have access to it at all, or to pay the annual charge. Those who choose the latter are actually incentivised to use it more often since they will be charged for it whether they use it every day or only use it occasionally.
“A great many motorists who can park at their place of work will only do so irregularly.” Says Faughnan. “They may take the bus some days, or get a lift. But if they know they are being charged no matter what they do, the inclination is to get the full value for it. Even judged purely on its effect on Dublin’s traffic this tax will actually do more harm than good.”
Unsurprisingly, opposition to the levy was far stronger among those who were directly affected by it, i.e. those who worked in Dublin and had a parking space provided by their employer. 330 respondents fell into this category and of those 84% were against the levy. But even amongst drivers who were not affected personally and had neither family members nor friends affected, opposition to the idea was still very high at 65.6%.
The online poll was carried out by the AA between 28th May and 1st June. 1,567 motorists countrywide took part. Overall, 67.8% of respondents said they were against the levy, 25.6% said they were in favour.