‘Disgrace, workers are paying to go to work’
Staff at Liffey Valley protesting over the charges

‘Disgrace, workers are paying to go to work’

THE controversial new parking charges at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre were introduced on Monday (October 17) – leading to daily protests at the centre by staff.

A daily rate of €2.50 for staff to park in a designated staff car park – works out at approximately €600 per year for fulltime workers.

Meanwhile, for customers, it is now a €2.50 charge for the first hour, and the next two hours free.

The move is in line with the new BusConnects interchange in the carpark, and the sustainability agenda, to get people out of cars.

However, the interchange is currently being built, and won’t be opened until early 2023.

Speaking in the Dáil this week, TD Gino Kenny (PBP) blasted it a “disgrace” that workers are “paying to go to work” noting the public transport infrastructure is months away from opening.

“To add insult to injury, Liffey Valley announced yesterday (Monday) that customers would be free for one month if they registered their details. Yet staff, who make all the profits for the centre, are charged €2.50 and more per day,” said Deputy Kenny.

In a statement on Monday, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre said: “Liffey Valley owners with the National Transport Authority have invested €30m to enhance parking and public transport facilities at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre so that our customers have a much-improved experience and more transport options when visiting the centre.

“These changes are in keeping with our sustainability agenda and national and local authority transport policies regarding model shift to more sustainable modes of transport.”

Declan Byrne, a staff member at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, contacted the NTA to confirm who is paying for the new bus stops and cycle tracks at Liffey Valley as part of the BusConnects programme.

The NTA confirmed to Mr Byrne in an email that the NTA are indeed funding the new bus stops and cycle tracks at Liffey Valley as part of the BusConnects programme.

Mr Byrne said a recent article in The Echo  ‘the measures are attributed by the centre to it’s €30m works programme which will facilitate the new BusConnects interchange’.

“This has been a line thrown out constantly by shopping centre management in memos to staff working there. It is very misleading. The shopping centre has tried to give the impression that they are paying for all work being done on the site,” said Mr Byrne.

Gemma O’Brien, who works at Peter Marks in Liffey Vallley, said the designated staff carpark behind Penney’s was full by 9.15am on Monday.

“They did give us an overflow in the green carpark, but if you don’t get these spaces, you are paying full charge for the day,” said Ms O’Brien.

“Teething problems are to be expected, but some staff had to pay extra, and in fairness the centre reimbursed them. Staff will continue to protest. We are looking for a better deal. At the moment, the centre are not budging.

“The interchange isn’t even ready until February. Buses park outside the centre. Staff from Tallaght have to get a bus to The Square, then to the city centre, and then to Liffey Valley. Staff from Bawnogue, get a bus to Clondalkin Village, then a bus to Liffey Valley. The purple carpark had only a couple of cars in it the other day. Marks and Spencer staff are screaming out for that space, something a bit closer and safer for when they arrive and leave late at night,” said Ms O’Brien.