According to a council report 20% of shoppers in Lurgan on the Saturday before Christmas were there because of the incentive of free parking.
Significantly 83% of those surveyed said that due to the free parking they stayed in the town centre for longer.
Such was the uptake on the free parking that 40% of those surveyed said they had to queue for a space during the free parking initiative on Saturday, December 21.
On that date both Lurgan and Portadown town centres offered free parking to customers. Council endeavoured to speak to 147 shoppers in both towns to get their views on the initiative which it is hoped could become more than a one-off.
In conjunction with DRD, council agreed for the three pay and display car parks at Castle Lane, Moore’s Lane and Waring Street to be free. The cost of the initiative is still to be finalised though it’s understood if it was to take place again council would need financial assistance from DRD.
If such a motion was to be passed a second time by council it was noted that a longer lead-in period may be needed to promote it.