Navan car park charge hike to fund refurbishment cost

New parking charges came into effect in Navan Town Centre today that saw the hourly charge rise by a hefty 33 per cent from €1.50 per hour to €2 per hour.

Euro Car Parks, which took over the management of the car park on 1st April 2023, say the hike was necessary to fund refurbishment works including the replacement of the obsolete systems as well as structural works to the older green car park.

Notices were erected in the car parks in recent weeks advising customers of the new charges and news of the 33 per cent rise in the hourly rate has been greeted by much criticism on local social media pages with many commenting that the increase will drive more shoppers to Blanchardstown Centre, where parking continues to be free.

Euro Car Parks has confirmed that the maximum daily rate payable for parking will rise from €7.50 per day, to €8 per day.

Navan Town Centre's management is not involved in the running of the car park and has no input in setting the charges. David Cullen, Managing Director of Euro Car Parks explained that the car park is a stand alone unit.

Outlining the reasons behind the increase, he said: "We took over just over a year ago and identified that the systems in place are obselete but similarly there is a huge refurbishment required. If you drive in you'll see rusty steel beams and leaks and floor coverings lifting so we have identified quite a significant capital expenditure requirement in the region of several hundred thousand euro- not small money. The barrier system itself will be €400,000."

The first phase of the works will be the installation of the new barrier system which is expected to be in operation by June and will use number plate recognition technology, and offer more ways to pay.

"From a customer service point of view, it will have licence plate recognition, meaning you can pay at the exit. From a customer usage point of view, its going to be an up-to-date modern system that will be much easier to use and make it quicker to get in and out of," said Mr Cullen.

Euro Car Parks manage 120 car parks around the country and Mr Cullen said parking charges generally are rising with Whitewater Shopping Centre's charges also recently increasing from €1.50 to €2 per hour.

Those who took to social media following the announcement of the increase weren't impressed. When a photo of the notice was posted on the 'Navan Community' Facebook page, over 170 comments were posted.

One commented: "Yep Blanch for me now, shop local is out the window, between traffic nightmares and price of parking...well done Navan you have really shot yourself, quicker and cheaper to go to Blanchardstown."

"Definitely Blanchardstown Shopping Centre from now on. Only a 20-25 minute drive from Navan. Hassle free. Navan wanting people to shop local… then raising the cost of parking like that? and then expecting the people of Navan to just pay up like fools," said another," said another.

"Far easier to go to Aldis or Lidl and just get a coffee elsewhere than trying to navigate in and out of town. This will only cause more drivers to look for on street parking or badly park at the weekends too which adds to the gridlock," said another commenter.