x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Parking fee details to be revealed on Sunday

The Department of Transport has called a press conference for Sunday to announce further details of its parking management programme.

ABU DHABI // The Department of Transport yesterday dismissed media reports that parking fees in the capital would be imposed from tomorrow, but did not specify the date on which they would come into effect. Two sources within the department indicated that drivers would not have to pay to park before Sunday, when a press conference is scheduled to announce details of the programme, including the specific locations where metered parking will apply and the scope of authority being given to parking enforcement officers.

Motorists were told in July that they would be charged to park in three areas in the central business district from the beginning of next month. A public relations spokesman for the department, requesting anonymity, said yesterday: "The DoT is sticking to its plans to introduce paid parking during the month of October." He and a senior department official said the charges would not be implemented before Sunday's press conference.

The fees are intended to help organise parking in the capital, where vehicles are habitually parked illegally in heavily congested areas. The number of registered vehicles in the emirate grew by 16 per cent a year between 2005 and 2008, the department said, putting a strain on the 75,000 available spaces. More spaces will be created, and existing spaces modified as part of the plan. Last year alone, 66,300 new vehicles were registered in the emirate.

In July the DoT announced parking fees would be Dh3 an hour on main streets and Dh2 elsewhere. Meters would operate from 8am to 9pm except on Fridays and public holidays, it said. Multi-storey car parks will cost Dh2 per hour. Annual permits for unlimited parking in residential areas will cost Dh800 for a first car and Dh1,200 for a second. Other elements of the plan include increasing the number of parking spaces and introducing park-and-ride options in some areas to encourage motorists to take buses from designated car parks.

Two locations have been selected for multi-storey underground car parks, on Hamdan Street and Zayed the First Street. Construction is scheduled to start early next year. The management programme will be rolled out over time to 75,000 spaces in 43 sectors stretching from the Tourist Club area to Khaleej al Arabi Road and from Khalifa Street to Hazza bin Zayed Street. An additional area stretches from Fourth Street to Al Karamah Street and from Hazza bin Zayed Street to Al Saada Street.

mchung@thenational.ae