ULSTER Unionist councillor, Alderman Gordon Kennedy, is urging more consideration when parking in our many small market towns within our Borough.
The Armagh councillor said he had been contacted by a business owner who said that there is an on-going problem of people using the limited available parking spaces within many of our small towns “as a type of park and ride facility”, while many of the staff working in local businesses are parking all day in what would be customer parking spaces.
Alderman Kennedy said, “Both of these actions result in a huge reduction of available customer car parking within our small towns, car parking which is essential to allow the local independent traders to operate within what is already a very competitive and difficult market.
“Our local small towns have been badly affected by the centralising of banking services throughout Northern Ireland which has resulted on a large number of the local banks being closed which has vastly reduced the footfall within these towns.”
He said that, in his role as a Councillor, he would work to ensure that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council “do everything in their power to help promote these towns and villages and what they offer, a lot of which are the home of long established family businesses”.
He added that he had been having ongoing discussions with Council officers and the Department for Infrastructure over additional parking provision.
“These traders want to let the public know particularly in the run up to Christmas that our towns and villages are very much open for business to welcome shoppers and provide the best retail experience for them so therefore they require available car parking for these customers close to their shop,” he added.
“These same local businesses which have shown great loyalty to their customers providing an essential service right through the dark days.
“These businesses are owned by local people who believe in our towns and villages and have continued to invest and grow by employing local people and stocking their shops with local suppliers. As a result any money that is spent circulates back into our local economy which helps promote and sustain our towns and villages.
“Therefore I would urge everyone to help us by being more considerate in their use of the available car parking spaces within our towns.”