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Eamon Ryan Leah Farrell
Radical shift

Eamon Ryan says free public sector parking spaces should start to go in 2024

The Green Party leader said a demand-management strategy on a range of measures for the transport sector will come to Government in the coming weeks.

GREEN PARTY LEADER Eamon Ryan has said he wants to tackle city-centre congestion through reforms which would see free parking spaces being taken away from some public servants this year.

Under an objective to create more sustainable travel policies, the Department for the Environment’s Public Sector Climate Action Strategy includes an ambition to phase out parking in public sector buildings which are otherwise served by adequate levels of public transport.

Ryan, who holds the Environment and Transport portfolios, said a demand-management strategy on a range of measures for the transport sector will come to Government within the coming weeks.

He said removal of free parking for public servants will be part of “a radical shift” to reduce gridlock and emissions as well as improving quality of life for inhabitants of cities.

Speaking to RTE’s This Week radio programme, Ryan said: “The other part will be a change in the city centre traffic management system this summer to try to take out through traffic.

“A lot of traffic going through the centre of Dublin is not actually going to (workplaces) or going to the shops or accessing deliveries, it’s actually just through traffic.

“We will see a radical – in my expectation – delivery of a change to the Traffic Management System which – in my mind – is vital not just for managing traffic but also reviving life in our city centre.”

Asked if he envisaged the changes, including the removal of parking spaces, to happen this year, Ryan said: “Yes, we need to start.”

Ryan said work also needs to start on building BusConnects projects as they are approved by the planning system.

He said TDs should “lead by example” through the removal of car parking at Leinster House but said it would be a matter for the Oireachtas Commission.

In addition, he said the Dart system needs to be “tripled” and the Dublin Metro line needs to be built.

“The same applies for Cork, Galway, Waterford, Limerick, and every county around the country.

“We need a dramatic change in our transport system for the better, involving a major improvement of public transport and making it safe for people to walk and cycle in our towns and cities and counties.”

During the week, mapping and technology firm TomTom published a report which found that Dublin was the second-worst city in its annual traffic index.

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