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Proposal for free parking across borough in run-up to Christmas

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council has been asked to bring forward proposals for free city and town centre parking in all area of the borough in the run-up to Christmas.

The request has been made by local SDLP Councillor Mealla Campbell.

And, in response, a paper is set to be discussed at next week’s meeting of the council’s Economic Development and Regeneration Committee.

“For the past couple of years the legacy council in Armagh paid Roads Service the parking charges for a select number of days in November and December to provide a boost for local businesses, shoppers and visitors to the city,” explained Councillor Campbell.

“This was very well received across the board and it is my understanding that similar schemes were implemented by Craigavon and Banbridge Councils.

“Our local independent traders have to compete with larger retailers and retail parks where parking is free and such an initiative can help to level up the playing field at this key time of the year.

“Now that off street parking has become part of the new council’s portfolio it is within our gift to ensure that the practice of free parking on designated days is continued across the whole borough, and certainly there is an expectation among our constituents that we will retain this custom going forward.”

Councillor Campbell said she had suggested to officers one option, with the inclusion of Georgian Day, that would cover every Saturday in December as well as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

“In agreeing this proposal we can give back to our local community in a very tangible and practical way and I hope this report will be received favourably by council when it is tabled at the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee on October 13.”

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