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Dublin Airport says idea its car parks will clog the M50 is 'bizarre'

DAA wants to change the planning status of the car parks in question from temporary to permanent.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

DUBLIN AIRPORT HAS labelled an objection to its long-term car parks “bizarre”.

The airport currently has nearly 11,000 long-term spaces and has applied to An Bord Pleanala to change their status from temporary to permanent.

The heritage group An Taisce has lodged a submission against the continuation. The board says that the plan would contravene the Department of Transport’s “Smarter Travel” plan as well as the Fingal County Development Plan which require action to limit cars on the roads generally and the car parking at the airport.

In addition An Taisce Advocacy Officer Ian Lumley said the plan would cause traffic on the M50.

“The proposal would perpetuate current unsustainable levels of traffic on the increasingly congested M50, and connecting road network, and reinforces unsustainable car use and dependence to and from Dublin Airport.”

In its recommendation to refuse the proposal An Taisce calls for:

  • An immediate targeted special bus provision to the Airport, to replace significant levels of current car access
  • Putting in place a management measure in the M50 area and for airport access roads, with road space use pricing with higher charging at peak hours
  • A major reduction of car parking at Dublin Airport and increased parking charging to be used to fund public transport

DUBLIN AIRPORT 36437_90500856 Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

DAA spokesperson Paul O’Kane told TheJournal.ie that the objection was “bizarre”.

“Given that this planning application will not result in a single additional car parking space at Dublin Airport, An Taisce’s claim that it will increase congestion on the M50 is rather bizarre.

“The application seeks to change the existing planning status of the car parks in question from temporary to permanent. Not one new space is being built and there are no other physical works required. Furthermore Dublin Airport’s busiest time of the day is from 6am to 7am daily which creates demand on the M50 at about 5am, far ahead of the morning rush hour.

“A grant of permanent planning permission would acknowledge the current planning policy supporting car parking in these locations, and would also recognise the existing and future requirement for long-term car parks at Dublin Airport.

“Dublin Airport has a catchment of the entire island of Ireland and therefore private car has to be one of ways that passengers can access the airport. Our customers travel from locations in all 32 counties and at all times of the day. That means that sometimes there is no public transport option available.”

The change of status comes as public transport use at the airport increases with the Metrolink set to open in 2027.

Between 2006 and 2016, the percentage of passengers using public transport to access the airport has increased from 26% to 37% and the number of passengers using private cars to get to the airport has fallen from almost 44% to 31%.

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