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David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East raised the issue of Iarnrod Eireann car parking charges at rail stations in East Cork in Dail Eireann last week.

“The car parking charges at railway stations on the Midleton to Cork rail line have been a matter that I have raised with Iarnrod Eireann on many occasions. I know that people in East Cork are very happy that the rail-link opened to Midleton after years of campaigning and planning. The service is very reliable and punctual. However, one issue remains to be resolved: car parking charges.

“The Minister for Transport advised that the rail stations at Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Glounthaune and Little Island in County Cork have car parks which are charged on the same basis as commuter stations through the Iarnrod Eireann network. These charges vary from €2 of €3 per day or €8 to €10 per week depending on the payment method used. While I acknowledge that these charges are not high, the rail stations are the only places in these towns and villages where car parking is not free.

“I remain concerned that the parking charge policy of Iarnrod Eireann may be a deterrent to train use on this service. As a regular train user, I can see that the car park in Carrigtwohill is virtually empty as is the huge space in Midleton where the adjoining streets are taken up with the cars of rail users.

“Also up to very recently car parking was free at Little Island and Glounthaune stations. When charges were put in place at these stations we now find that most rail commuters chose to park on the roadway which is, of course, free. Others may choose to abandon using the train altogether.

“Minister Varadkar has also asked Iarnrod Eireann to respond to me directly regarding general car parking policy at these East Cork rail stations so I look forward to hearing from them.