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Assembly to discuss Newry parking

Car parking in Newry City Centre is to be debated in the Assembly. Area MLA Dominic Bradley secured an adjournment debate in the  Assembly on the subject. Commenting on the forthcoming debate the SDLP Assembly Member said changes to car parking arrangements in Newry City Centre had been requested by both traders and shoppers. “The Department of Regional Development (DRD) has converted from a kiosk operated system to pay and display on January 7 2013 in Abbey Way, Canal Bank 1 and Canal Bank 2 Car Parks he said. “While the Roads Service says that this project is common to all towns and aimed at delivering savings, this change will have a major detrimental impact on attracting shoppers into the city centre shopping precinct areas of the Cathedral Quarter, Hill Street and Creamery Quarter, Monaghan Street. Many people believe that the change will be detrimental to shoppers who in all likelihood will spend less time in the city centre as a result of this change. At a time when town and city centres across the north have been torn asunder by the effects of the recession and face competition from the exponential growth in out of town retail developments, governments should be adopting policies which support trade in town and city centres. In the near future traders in Newry City Centre will have to face competition from a major retail development which will offer free car parking. A well as having been badly affected by the recession traders have also come through some very challenging experiences whilst the first part of the new public realm scheme was under construction and are set for further disruption as part 2 commences in April 2013. The traders are understandably angry that there was no consultation process held with stakeholders or the wider business community on this issue. Even at this stage there are some measures which could be adopted to mitigate the effects of the changes – top up kiosks in Hill Street and Monaghan Street would help ensure that shoppers could prolong their time in the city centre without the fear that they will fear a parking fine. The debate in the Assembly will provide the opportunity to discuss the issues involved with the DRD Minister and to find a solution which is acceptable to all concerned.


Newry Democrat

22nd January 2013