The spectre of parking meters for Lurgan town centre has been raised as council consults on a parking strategy for the town.
A group calling itself ‘Concerned Lurgan’ is urging traders to attend a meeting set up by council to discuss the current consultation.
The meeting will take place in Lurgan Town Hall on August 15 starting at 5.30pm.
The ‘Concerned Lurgan’ group this week issued flyers calling on traders to attend the meeting.
In their flyers the group stated: “It has come to our attention that our Council is in the process of developing a strategy for parking in our town.
“It would seem this is likely to include parking meters, additional charges and/or penalties here in Lurgan.
“Already in the shadows of Rushmere and Sprucefield, surely our shopping and retail spaces can’t be subject to even more discrimination!
“We must stand up as a body of traders and be heard.
“Please plan to attend this council meeting to make our views known.”
In a briefing given to the Lurgan Mail, a spokesman for the group said parking charges were in essence a ‘town centre tax’.
He added trading conditions were difficult enough without driving shoppers away from the town centre.
He also claimed invitations to the meeting had only been emailed to around 20 traders in the town.
The Lurgan Mail put a series of questions to the local council, including a query about plans for parking meters in the town centre and asked for a response to claims about the number of traders invited.
We also asked about the agenda for the meeting and who would be conducting it.
We received the following response: “As of April 2015 Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council became responsible for the management of 50 off-street car parks across the borough. On-street car parking is still managed by the Department for Infrastructure.
“The Council has just commenced a review of off-street car parking.
“The first stage of this review is to seek the views from a range of stakeholders.
“A consultation event has been arranged for Lurgan town traders on the 15 August, 2018.
“This event is an opportunity for the town traders to share their views on off-street parking in the borough. The Council is also keen to seek the views from the general public and has posted a Car Parking Survey on the Council’s Facebook page.
“The Council would encourage as many users of the off-street car parks to complete this survey. As the review develops, further consultation events will take place.”
If you would like to check out the survey, go to www.facebook.com/armaghbanbridgecraigavon