Buncrana Town Council told free parking would come at a high price

Buncrana Town Council has been told it would not be viable to introduce a 30 minute grace period for pay and display parking in the town.

The issue was raised by Cllr Ciaran Mc Laughlin, who said he'd like to see a system similar to the one agreed in Letterkenny last year.

However, officials say while the grace period in Letterkenny actually increased revenue there, a similar initiative in Buncrana could cost over 90,000 euro.

Town Engineer Donal Walker told members that between 2009 and 2010, the system brought in almost 147,000 euro in machine payments, 30,000 euro in permits and 20,000 euro in fines.

He sdaid the grace period if introduced would see income cut by over 45,000 euro, as well as necessitating the employment of another traffic warden to police the revised system.

In total, he said, the cost to the council would be almost 94,000 euro, the equivalent of a 7% increase in the commercial rate.

He will keep the system under review.

The council is also considering the location of a parking space for buses close to the Main Street, after Cllr Mary Kelly was told placing a space on Main Street would lead to the loss of around 8 car parking spaces.