Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has welcomed Irish Rail’s decision to suspend car parking charges at train stations on the Cork to Midleton line until 3rd January 2012.

“I would like to congratulate Irish Rail for suspending the car parking charges over the festive period. I believe this move by Irish Rail will really encourage members of the public to use the train service over the coming weeks,” said Deputy Stanton.

“I have been in contact with Irish Rail on a number of occasions since the opening of the Cork to Midleton Railway seeking they examine the car parking charges at stations in Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Glounthaune and Little Island. As a regular user of this excellent service, I am always surprised at the very few cars in the car parks at these stations. I am concerned that the parking charges, while only €2 per day, are acting as a deterrent to people using the train.

“Last Christmas Irish Rail also offered a trial period of free parking. This must have been successful given its introduction again this year. As traffic congestion increases in the run up to Christmas, the free parking at train stations should be an additional incentive for people to travel to Midleton and Carrigtwohill for Christmas shopping and to use restaurants and other amenities as well as encouraging people working in the city to use the train service to travel to work.

“Since its opening, I understand that the Cork to Midleton train service has been operating quite successfully. I certainly find it a very efficient and economical service. I would ask that Irish Rail consider extending the free parking all year round to ensure the continued success of the route.