Proposed new parking fees at Liffey Valley will penalise staff
STAFF fear they will be penalised for coming to work amid the proposed new parking fees at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.
A daily rate of €2.50 is set to be introduced for a designated staff car park on October 16.
This would work out at approximately €600 per year for staff who drive and work fulltime.
Meanwhile, customers face a €2.50 charge for the first hour, and the next two hours free.
The measures are attributed by the centre to it’s €30m works programme which will facilitate the new BusConnects interchange in the carpark, and the national sustainability agenda.
However, it is unclear how many parking space will be available for staff in the designated car park, understood to be located behind Penney’s.
Liffey Valley SC told The Echo they “are satisfied there will be adequate car parking for staff at the centre” but they are unable to confirm to The Echo how many spaces will be available in the designated staff carpark.
Linda Murray, who has worked at Marks & Spencers in Liffey Vallley for 24 years, said the mood is “horrendous” for worried staff at the moment.
“We never had to pay for parking and all of a sudden, bang, this massive charge. There is roughly 2,500 staff at the centre. Obviously not all drive, but they know damn well that a good amount of people that drive are not going to be allowed to use the designated carpark,” said Linda.
A mother of three from Clondalkin, Linda is carer for her daughter, and works shift hours to “make ends meet”.
“We believe it will be a first come first served basis, but retail staff arrive for work at different hours. If you don’t get a spot, you will be penalised for going to work. Staff in M&S live in places like Edenderry and Ashtown.
“What does it mean for cleaning contractors who are in for a couple of hours in the early morning, and after a store closes? If we have to park further away, it won’t be safe for us to walk up that road. I have an aneurysm in my head. It is added stress on top of all the rising costs and the struggle to make ends meet. My husband works in the Square and it is €100 per year.”
TD Mark Ward (SF) said a meeting with the centre owner Hines was postponed this week due to political involvement in Budget 2023, but that Hines are reciprocal to a meeting “in the next week or two”.
“It is a concern that retail staff start their shifts at different times of the day. I can’t see the idea floated of carpooling working,” said Deputy Ward.
“A lot of staff live in Bawnogue, where they have to get a bus to Clondalkin Village and another bus from the village to work.”
A spokesperson for Liffey Valley Shopping centre said: “We would reiterate that the core objective of this €30m works programme at Liffey Valley is to deliver a greatly improved customer experience and to provide more sustainable ways of accessing the centre.
“As the centre has incrementally expanded and attracted more visitors there is a need to deliver improved parking facilities and ensure availability of spaces for our customers to shop with our retailers.
“There is a very clear and unambiguous policy requirement nationally, regionally and locally to switch to more sustainable modes of transport and we are creating real alternatives for staff and our customers.
“Management are directly engaged with the retailers who employ the staff at the centre regarding staff parking. In conjunction with this engagement, we are encouraging retailers to engage with their staff regarding use of the enhanced public transport facilities and other alternative transport options. We are satisfied there will be adequate car parking for staff at the centre.”