Flanagan lashes rail parking charges

A LAOIS TD has criticised Iarnrod Eireann’s hike in car parking fees at stations in Portlaoise and Portarlington.

A LAOIS TD has criticised Iarnrod Eireann’s hike in car parking fees at stations in Portlaoise and Portarlington.

Earlier this month, Iarnrod raised the machine charges, in what seems to be an attempt to get more people to use their Parkbytext service.

According to the rail company, the revised charges mean that, as well as being a more convenient way of paying for parking, ParkByText is now the cheapest way also, with no increase on current rates.

While the daily charge at the machines in Portlaoise and Portarlington has increased by €1 to €3, the parkbytext daily rate remains the same. The rates for weekly and monthly parkbytext tickets also remains the same, while customers buying weekly tickets through the machines have to pay an extra €2.

There was some good news for customers with monthly parking tickets as the validity of the €30 ticket has been increased from 28 days to 31 days.

But Fine Gael TD, Charlie Flanagan, said the price hike was “most unfair” to customers.

He said he had raised the matter with Iarnrod Eireann and the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar.

“At a time when we should be making rail travel more attractive, this is an extra burden for commuters,” he said.

Deputy Flanagan described it as “extraordinary” that the parking charges should be increased at a time when “we should be discouraging people from taking their cars to Dublin.”