A SENIOR engineer at Limerick City Council has revealed that less than a third of motorists who currently use on-street parking in the city centre pay for parking discs.
Rory McDermott says while 90% of on-street spaces are occupied at any one time of the day, just 30% of people are paying to use them.
The fall in the compliance rate over the past 15 months has been attributed to the fact that there are currently just four traffic wardens enforcing the parking regulations in the city.
At its peak, the compliance rate amongst motorists using on-street parking spaces stood at around 80%.
“This development has been brought on by ourselves through the non-hiring of traffic wardens,” said Mr McDermott, who said approval was first sought to hire additional traffic wardens in 2009.
“As enforcement levels contract, compliance levels also contract unfortunately. If we don’t have wardens enforcing it, we are not going to get compliance,” he told Live 95FM.
Mr McDermott confirmed that while the recruitment of six new traffic wardens has been approved, they will not be on the streets until early in the New Year.
“The parking strategy of Limerick City Council [is] if you come into visit Limerick you will get good value and you can park for two hours. If you pay there is no problem, but if you want to take advantage and not pay then you will be punished,” he warned.
Limerick City Council has announced that it will offer free on-street parking every afternoon between December 8 and the end of the year.
Rory McDermott, says the initiative, which only ran on Friday and Saturday afternoons last year and in 2010 isn’t without its problems.
“While we are suspending the charges on the afternoons, we also have to suspend the parking for two hours. That presents a little problem with the monopolisation of spaces,” he said as he appealed to motorists not to abuse the initiative.
Mr McDermott says private parking providers are also offering good value at present.
“We have 5,500 off-street car-parking spaces who offer weekly car parking from €11 to €15 in the city centre; We have fabulous offers from those car parks,” he said.