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Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan Targets City-Centre Congestion with Proposed Removal of Free Parking for Public Servants

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is pushing for reforms to address city-centre congestion, proposing the removal of free parking spaces from some public servants this year. As part of the Department for the Environment’s Public Sector Climate Action Strategy, the objective is to implement more sustainable travel policies, including phasing out parking in public sector buildings adequately served by public transport.

Ryan, holding the Environment and Transport portfolios, outlined a demand-management strategy for the transport sector, which will be presented to the government in the coming weeks. The removal of free parking for public servants is seen as a “radical shift” aimed at reducing gridlock, emissions, and enhancing the quality of life in urban areas. Ryan anticipates changes to the city centre traffic management system this summer to eliminate through traffic, emphasising the need for a vital transformation for managing traffic and revitalising city centres.

Discussing the timeline for these changes, Ryan expressed the urgency, stating, “Yes, we need to start” this year. He also emphasised the importance of starting BusConnects projects and advocated for TDs to “lead by example” by removing car parking at Leinster House, although acknowledging it’s a matter for the Oireachtas Commission.

Ryan called for significant improvements to public transport, including tripling the Dart system and constructing the Dublin Metro line. He highlighted the need for similar changes in Cork, Galway, Waterford, Limerick, and across the country to create a dramatic improvement in the transport system, making it safer for people to walk and cycle in urban areas.

A recent report by mapping and technology firm TomTom ranked Dublin as the second-worst city in its annual traffic index, underscoring the pressing need for reforms in addressing congestion issues.

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