Lower parking rates for Lurgan have been described as a major step forward for the town by Lurgan Forward’s Charlie Gardiner.
The new scheme follows the Christmas parking scheme which introduced lower parking rates in 25 towns, which is now being extended as part of a six month pilot.
Starting on Saturday, 93 car parks in 25 towns across Northern Ireland will charge £1 for five hours parking. The scheme is expected to last for up to six months and will be subject to ongoing assessment.
Welcoming news Lurgan is included in the scheme Mr Gardiner said: “This is really good news for Lurgan, a major step forward.
@It will encourage people to come to the town and spend more time.
“People will know they have more time top spend and will spend most of their day in the town.”
Ulster Unionist candidate for Lurgan, Aaron Carson also welcomed the announcement, with Castle Lane to benefit from the scheme: “This is another boost for the town of Lurgan and the many town traders who need every bit of help they can get from the executive. Danny Kennedy and his department has demonstrated their commitment to Lurgan by the vast array of road improvements throughout Lurgan, and this is just more evidence of that.”
His party colleague and local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said: “This is an excellent example of a Minister listening to the views of local businesses and people and delivering a pilot scheme aimed at supporting local retails and the economy.
“This scheme was warmly welcomed at Christmas time and I am delighted to see this extended to a longer pilot.”
Transport Minister, Danny Kennedy said: “Local retailers across Northern Ireland have told me that they are continuing to operate in a challenging environment. That was one of the main reasons why I introduced a five hours parking for £1 over the Christmas and New Year period.
“The scheme was welcomed by traders and this extensive pilot project will inform my Department’s future policy. The five hours parking for £1 pilot tariff will support both the local economy and retailers in their efforts to encourage more shoppers back into towns and cities across Northern Ireland.”
The new tariff will be introduced from April 12 and will apply to car parks in 25 towns and cities excluding Belfast that have a tariff of 30p or more per hour. Drivers will still be able pay for normal tariffs under £1 in each car park and normal tariffs over five hours still apply.