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Fine Gael TD to Cork East,  David Stanton, has welcomed the decision of Iarnrod Eireann to temporarily suspend car parking charges at train stations on the Cork to Midleton line.

“I have made contact with Iarnrod Eireann on a number of occasions in relation to parking charges at local train stations and the fact that this could be affecting uptake of the train service. I am pleased that there will be a trial period of free parking in the run up to Christmas.

“It might not be the €2 daily parking fee alone but the inconvenience of having to return to your car once you have purchased the parking ticket which could be discouraging train usage from Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Glounthaune and Little Island stations. Also the train stations are the only places in Midleton and Carrigtwohill where there is a parking charge.

“This trial free parking period is also an acknowledgement by Iarnrod Eireann of the poor usage levels of the car parks. While patronage of Midleton to Cork train service is good it is evident that most service users do not use the large new purpose built car parks. While I acknowledge many train users walk or cycle to the stations, most drivers using the train park outside the stations where parking is free.

“As traffic gets heavier and more congested during the Christmas period, I think that free parking will be a great incentive for people to use the train. It is a fast and reliable way for people to get to Cork city for work or shopping.

“I hope that the train service will also be used by people from Cork city to travel out of the city and access the amenities in East Cork. Midleton and the surrounding area have a lot to offer people with many wonderful restaurants and shops.

“I hope that the free parking will be a success and improve train and car park usage at stations. As a frequent user of this Midleton to Cork train if find it very efficient. I want to make sure that its success continues.