PENAL parking restrictions are to come into force around Croke Park
Patrons at the GAA’s Headquarters are facing the added headache of 2km-plus walks after Dublin City Council’s decision to enforce a parking exclusion zone around the ground.
New bye-laws are expected to restrict parking for non-residents within a 2km zone from all the city’s major stadia and entertainment venues, including the new Lansdowne Road, the RDS and the Point.
But Croke Park has become the first target, with only residential permit holders allowed to park in the vicinity of the stadium Croke Park during specific hours around match or event times.
The new bye-laws will be enforced later this summer for international matches, concerts and later All-Ireland quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals.
The parameters of the exclusion zone include Griffith Avenue to the north, St Mobhi and Botanic Roads to the west, North Strand Road and Fairview to the east and Parnell Street to the south.
Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna said yesterday that it will be unfair on patrons travelling long distances to inconvenience them in such a way.
“The economy of Dublin benefits enormously from events and matches in Croke Park and other venues.
“It seems a very harsh way to penalise the people who are actually fuelling this economy.”
The restriction of parking will only move any perceived problem with congestion and road safety to another part of the city and McKenna suggested “some joined up thinking” before the new bye-laws are enforced. “We have been in consultation with the city authorities on this and a smaller exclusion zone closer to Croke Park has worked well. But this leaves things more difficult,” he admitted.
“The area isn’t that well served by public transport and even bus lanes don’t operate on match days which could help,” McKenna said.
It has been suggested that a plebiscite of residents in the relevant areas will be required before the new laws come into effect.
“A system like this operates at Arsenal, but you have to factor in that there’s a home team involved, a smaller ground capacity and a better level of public transport,” argued McKenna.