Congestion charges would choke our city centres and have a devastating impact on businesses and retailers, a local TD has said. Deputy Emer Higgins expressed concern after new modelling from the National Transport Authority suggests congestion charges of €10 for motorists and a 400% increase on parking charges to deter cars from entering our city centres. The modelling comes in advance of a demand management strategy process to be announced by Government recently to reduce Ireland’s emissions targets. The modelling also suggests potential increases in petrol and diesel costs.
Deputy Higgins said: “Any plan should focus on how we continue to prioritise improving public transport infrastructure instead of punishing people out of their cars. “We’ve all seen the crippling effect petrol and diesel increases have had on motorists and businesses alike. “Taken in the round, congestion charges and fuel increases will also end up increasing consumer prices as it costs more to bring goods to city centres.
“Our city centres are still recovering post covid. Any move to restrict motorists should be tied to capital investments ensuring that motorists have tangible alternatives to use when leaving their cars at home. “From a public transport point of view, a reduction in fares on trains, buses and the Luas have all had a very positive and encouraging effect on consumers and commuters. “Any plan should focus on how we continue to prioritise improving public transport infrastructure, instead of placing further pressure on motorists.”