Drivers in the Coleraine area are set to benefit from a Christmas parking iniative announced last week by Transport Minister, Danny Kennedy.
A new reduced parking tariff which came into place on Monday, applies to car parks that have a tariff of 30p or more per hour.
Drivers can park for up to five hours at a cost of just £1.
The Minister said: “Retailers across Northern Ireland have been suffering from the economic downturn and I know that the festive season is a key period for them financially.”
The news has been welcomed by traders and elected representatives.
Coleraine Chamber President Ian Donaghey said: “This initiative will be welcomed by the town centre businesses, making it easier and more cost effective for shoppers to visit our town centre over the Christmas period.”
Gwyneth McQuiston, Manager of The Diamond Shopping Centre and Chairperson Coleraine Town Team said: “This is fantastic news – a great Christmas present and we welcome it wholeheartedly in Coleraine.”
DUP MLA Adrian McQuillan described the move as ‘positive’ added that he hoped both shoppers and retailers would benefit from the reduced parking charges.
SDLP councillor Stephanie Quigley added: “This is welcome news for traders, who have had a hard time during the recession. Any measure to entice shoppers into the town centre, and to encourage them to stay longer than the normal restricted time frame can only be a good thing.
“It will allow shoppers to take their time on the high street and spend longer than they normally would.”