One car park in Lurgan is included in the Christmas parking initiative announced by the Transport Minister this week.
Danny Kenny revealed that the car park in Castle Lane is to benefit from a new reduced tariff of five hours parking for just £1.
“Retailers across Northern Ireland have been suffering from the economic downturn and I know that the festive season is a key period for them financially,” said the Minister.
The new tariff will be introduced from December 2 and will continue until January 11 and will apply to car parks that have a tariff of 30p or more per hour. Drivers will still be able pay the minimum tariff in each car park, for example most car parks have a tariff of 40p per hour so if someone wants to stay for less than an hour they can simply pay 40p.
Craigavon Deputy Mayor Colin McCusker welcomed the announcement.
“From the day and hour that I joined Craigavon Council, I have heard nothing but constant attacks on Danny Kennedy about car parking charges. The calls for the Minister to attend council meetings have become a standing joke with members. That is why I welcome another major announcement for Craigavon from my party colleague Danny Kennedy, who has clearly demonstrated a willingness to invest in the borough of Craigavon. The Ulster Unionist Party recognise that the festive season is a key period for retailers and town centres. This latest announcement, combined with the Christmas transport package for shoppers and traders, will go a long way to helping our retailers.
Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said: “This is excellent news for Portadown and Lurgan, especially for our local traders and small businesses in the run-up to the busy Christmas and New Year periods.
“I have met with, and listened to the very real concerns of local traders who have been suffering the effects of an extremely difficult trading environment. But parking issues are only one of the many pressures which are being felt by local small businesses owners – others include their commercial rates bills as well as planning concerns. It is now for other Ministers to step forward and show the same willingness to help as Minister Kennedy has by his announcement.
“As Minister Kennedy has shown, it is not enough to meet with traders and pay lip service to their concerns, the key is in the delivery of practical measures. That is why I will be pressing the Finance Minister to instigate rates reviews for town centre commercial premises as a matter of urgency.”