Given the success of the introduction of free parking in East Cork rail stations over the summer months, Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has called on Iarnrod Eireann to consider extending the initiative until the New Year. Deputy Stanton believes that this should further incentivise members of the public in the East Cork area to opt for public transport instead of using their own cars.
“I was very pleased to see the large increase in vehicles parked in the car parks in the East Cork rail stations over the last few months. Each of the stations in Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Glounthaune and Little Island have extensive parking facilities, however, due to the parking charge normally in operation, many train users choose to leave their vehicles on roads and streets outside the stations.
“Despite third level institutions and schools being on holidays over the summer, since the introduction of free parking in the rail stations, there has been a very noticeable increase in the in the number of cars parked inside each of the stations. This, in turn, has resulted in a large decrease in vehicles parked on the streets and roads outside each of the stations. While I am unaware if the free parking has resulted in an real increase in passenger levels on the train service, I am sure it provides an additional incentive for people to use the very efficient and affordable train service to and from Cork City”, said Deputy Stanton.
“I would like to congratulate Iarnrod Eireann on the success of the free parking initiative, which was also introduced over the Christmas period last year. I have written directly to Iarnrod Eireann requesting that they examine the possibility of extending the free parking in the East Cork rail stations until the New Year or even beyond that date.
“I firmly believe that the more incentives there are for people to use public transport, the more members of the public will opt to leave their cars at home. Given the recent jump in fuel prices and increases in other motoring related costs, free parking in the East Cork rail stations provides another way to save money on transport costs. Many train users can also make tax savings on their rail tickets, details of which are available on www.taxsaver.ie