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Dublin City Council ending free parking for healthcare workers near hospitals

Healthcare workers were not being charged to park in the vicinity of hospitals during the pandemic.

Image: Shutterstock/Dmitri Ma

HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN Dublin will once again be charged for street parking near hospitals after this month.

On 19 March, the HSE announced that parking charges for staff in hospitals and healthcare facilities were being suspended for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dublin City Council said it instructed its parking enforcement contractor Dublin Street Parking Services to “exercise discretion” in terms of clamping cars on roads and streets surrounding hospitals, the Department of Health and HSE offices.

In a memo sent yesterday by the Chief Executive of DCC, Owen Keegan, it was confirmed that parking enforcement for healthcare workers in the city will begin again from 1 September. 

“It has been decided, with considerable regret, that the enforcement concession in respect of HSE staff parking in the vicinity of hospitals, cannot be sustained,” Keegan wrote.

“The non-enforcement of paid parking restrictions in respect of vehicles owned by HSE staff, parked in the vicinity of hospitals was always intended to be a temporary measure.

At the time it was introduced it was not a major issue in the various locations where it applied, as there was limited demand for on-street parking.

“However, with the resumption in economic activity there has been a significant recovery in traffic volumes and in on-street parking demand.”

Keegan said some residents living near hospitals can no longer access parking near their homes at certain times.

As a result the concession will end after 31 August and regular parking enforcement will recommence. 

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor, Séamas McGrattan, has called for the measure to be extended. 

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“Healthcare workers deserve the city’s support and solidarity. Free parking is the least that they can expect at this time,” he said in a statement. 

McGrattan said he has written to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and other parties involved to ask them to “work together to ensure that parking is available at no cost to healthcare workers”. 

With reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha.

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