A well known local businessman is urging Lisburn and Castlereagh District Council to make the current city centre parking charges permanent.
Roads Service introduced a new charging structure, which allows motorists to park in city centre pay and display car parks for five hours for a cost of just £1.
Seymour Dougan believes the system has had a positive impact on the Lisburn economy, with shoppers staying longer in the city and spending more when they are in the shops. “The car parks are full and I know shoppers are spending more time in Lisburn because they are not worried about parking charges and rushing back to their cars.
“I am sure that restaurants and coffee shops are seeing the benefit and I know our shop has noticed a difference as well,” said Mr Dougan.
“The longer people spend in the town the more money they are likely to spend.
“We have seen growth for the last quarter for the first time in the last four and I believe a large part of this is down to changes in parking charges.”
Mr Dougan is urging the local council to support appeals by Councillor Alexander Redpath to retain the pricing structure when the new super councils take effect in April.
“I am confident it is helping,” he continued.
“I hope Mr Redpath is successful in his campaign to make this permanent.”
Councillor Redpath said he would continue to press the council to make the ‘five hours for £1’ parking charge a permanent feature in Lisburn.”
Councillor Alexander Redpath said, “It’s great that the £1 for 5 hours parking scheme has received an endorsement from a prominent Lisburn businessman.
“I have been a stalwart supporter of this scheme since it’s inception and have welcomed the repeated extension of the programme by Transport Minister Danny Kennedy MLA.
“This scheme is providing a welcome boost to city centre traders by encouraging people to stay in the town longer to complete their Christmas shop.
“I think it strikes the right balance allowing people sufficient time to do everything they need in town whilst discouraging all day parking and promoting a turnover of spaces.
“Powers over DRD off street car parks will shortly be transferred to Lisburn and Castlereagh Super Council.
“I very much hope that when the council sets its charging policy it retains the £1 for 5 hours scheme.”