Prior to Christmas, the cost of parking charges in Irish Rail stations along the Maynooth line was raised with me by a constituent.
There is a big difference in the charges between two of the stations on the Maynooth line. In Coolmine Station, the rates are €3 per day or €10 per week paying with cash or credit card (€2 per day or €8 per week using the ParkbyText service). However, in the Navan Road Parkway Station, only two stops away, the rate jumps to €4 per day or €18 per week. Over a one year period, this difference in price really becomes apparent.
As the Navan Road Parkway Station is not located within a residential area, the vast majority of commuters using it will have to access it via car. Surely, having such a high parking price is a significant disincentive to people using the station as a park and ride facility? It can be contrasted with the M3 Parkway, past Dunboyne, which is actually free to use!
I’ve contacted Irish Rail over the issue. A spokesperson informed me that the reason for big difference in price is that the Navan Road Parkway station is fully owned and run by private operators. Irish Rail maintains an ability to influence parking fees in the car parks it still controls. (Raises some questions about how good a deal was reached regarding the building and ownership of the Navan Road station in the first place).
I’ve subsequently contacted the private company running the Navan Road Parkway station to lobby them to review their current prices. While I understand the need economic pressures that companies have to operate under, with the economic climate as it currently stands, the size of the difference in price is a significant disincentive to people using the car park and as such, public transport.
I haven’t heard anything back from them yet, but I will update further if/when I do.