More people are going to Lurgan to shop although footfall in Portadown has slumped dramatically.
Recent figures show footfall in Lurgan up by 0.19% while Portadown dropped by a huge six and a half per cent decline. Banbridge also lost footfall by 2.42%.
DUP MLA Carla Lockhart welcomed the positive figures for Lurgan which were collated during May 17/19 but voiced concern ‘to see once very busy town centres such as Banbridge and Portadown show declines’.
Mrs Lockhart said: “I am happy to see Lurgan continuing to thrive but am somewhat dismayed to see Banbridge and Portadown decline. There are great shopping offerings in all three towns and we should all where possible support our local traders.
“I know some shoppers are put off by parking charges and over efficient parking wardens and I would call on council to rethink the parking charges in car parks and give an extended free parking period for shoppers to allow them to browse the town centres.
“From speaking with traders I am aware this is a constant source of aggravation to them as it deters shoppers from having longer to spend in their shops.
“Parking and business rates are always top of the agenda. If shops have to close due to lack of footfall then that too reduces the revenue for the Council so they should listen to the feedback from traders.
“I do hope in the coming year to see Portadown and Banbridge join Lurgan in an upward trend. I would call again the Council to reconvene the Town Centre Taskforce and for work to be carried out on a marketing, business and community engagement plan for each town Centre. We need to act now.”
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has footfall counters located in: Newry St, Banbridge; Market Street, Lurgan; West Street, Portadown.
This service is provided by Springboard UK and footfall refers to pedestrian movement past a counter regardless of their reason for doing so (work, shopping, leisure, accessing services etc.)
The data for the period May 17 – May 19 demonstrated a year on year percentage change in Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown.
In Lurgan on May 17/18 there were 1,787,668 people counted while the next day showed 1,791,127.
In Portadown on May 17/18 there were 1,027,796 but the next day that fell to 960,365.
In Banbridge on May 17/18 there were 1,329,142 footfall while the next day showed 1,296,992.
UK trend over same period was -1.3% while the NI trend over same period 1.0%.