Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Fishery Harbour Centres
236. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of parking on his Department's property in Howth in County Dublin, if he has abandoned proposals to introduce paid parking in the vicinity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45198/15]
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, owns and directly manages six Fishery Harbour Centres located at Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Ros an Mhíl, Killybegs and An Daingean.
Howth Fishery Harbour Centre is a working fishery harbour, however it is also a very important tourist and leisure destination with many restaurants and businesses operating on the Harbour.
The question of the introduction of paid car parking on Howth Harbour, as part of an overall review of traffic management arrangements, remains under consideration.
The Comptroller and Auditor General in his Special Report (No 82 of July 2014) and the related Report of the Public Accounts Committee of 24 June 2015 have asked the Department to review the position re pay parking in Howth, in conjunction with other Fishery Harbour Centres with a view to increasing income generation possibilities.
Most importantly, the safe operation of the Harbour is of paramount concern; in this context, traffic management and parking is recognised as an issue, particularly, though not exclusively, during the busy holiday periods.
Traffic and parking management within the Fishery Harbour Centre itself has been an issue for some time, particularly in the light of concerns raised about safety and emergency access by the Coastguard, the Lifeboat service, and An Garda Síochána. In this regard, upgrading works to the car park, including lining of parking spaces, have taken place as part of the harbour's new traffic management scheme. In 2015 I have allocated €115,000 for the continuation of these improvements.