Owners of vehicles with higher emissions could be charged more for parking in Dublin City Centre.
A city council review is said to be looking at the idea of charging so-called ‘differential parking charges’ – but is this the answer, or is it simply going to hurt people who can’t can ill afford to pay more for their parking?
As part of Dublin City Council’s Climate Action Plan, higher emission vehicles could be charged more for parking compared to EVs or low emissions vehicles.
Also, those drivers using the council’s parking phone app would pay less than those paying at the meter.
So the idea might sound good, but will it work in practice? Let’s take for example two cars – a 2011 Volkswagen Polo and a 2022 Land Rover Defender PHEV. The Polo, with its 60 horsepower has CO2 emissions of 128g/km. The Defender PHEV has 77g/km. The Defender is 700mm longer than the Polo and weighs 2600kg, around 1,500kg or 136% more than the Polo.
The Polo is more likely to be driven by the nurse in Holles Street Hospital than the investment banker in the Defender down the road in the IFSC. Who should be paying more for the parking?
So should this all be about tailpipe emissions? Or should it really be about taking cars out of the city and making it a more usable space for everyone?
Whatever happens in Dublin will likely be a test bed for measures which would be introduced around the country, including Tipperary. While Tipperary still has a way to go in terms of EV ownership, such measures are likely to be in place in towns up and down the county by 2030 as we hit our emissions targets.