Dublin City Council is not considering reintroducing free car parking for healthcare workers despite calls to do so.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March free parking was made available for healthcare workers from city hospitals.
The council ended free parking for frontline medical workers on August 31st but following this decision 500 parking spaces were allocated to frontline hospital staff at a reduced rate.
The council made 400 parking spaces aviailable in the Ilac car park and 100 spaces in the Drury Street and Dawson car parks at a maximum cost of €5 per day.
When introduced early last month it was expected the arrangement would be reviewed after a six-month period.
However, chairperson of the Transport Special Policing Committee, Councillor Christy Burke, is now calling on DCCl chief executive Owen Keegan and head of traffic Brendan O’Brien to reinstate free parking for hospital staff.
Independent councillor Burke said:
“It is vital that the council shows support to our frontline workers yet again now that the Covid-19 situation has continued to heat up.
“While so many of them are grateful for the reduced parking fees, walking in and out from the multi-storey car parks in the dark mornings and evenings at this time of year is not easy, both in terms of weather and safety concerns.
“They don’t need that added burden along with treating patients while Covid infections rage on. These workers deserve concessions and every bit of help they can get.”
“The majority of the councillors who have the Mater, Temple St Children’s Hospital and Holles Street maternity hospital in their constituencies have been contacted by extremely worried medical staff over the parking situation,” he added.
However, a council spokesperson said the local authority has no plans to reintroduce free parking and it was a matter for the HSE and hospital management to deal with.
“Dublin City Council is not currently considering reverting to free on-street parking for hospital staff because of the difficulty this caused for residents living in the vicinity of hospitals seeking access to on-street parking,” they said.
“The council agreed with several car park operators to provide access to off-street car parking for vehicles belonging to hospital staff, at a set daily rate.
“Hospital staff have already taken up the concession and all the operators have committed to additional capacity should the need arise.
“If there is a need for additional car parking for hospital staff, this is a matter to be addressed by hospital management and the HSE”.