East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden says she is ‘concerned’ that parking charges has been introduced on Sundays in the run up to Christmas.
“Our town centres have been damaged by out of town retail complexes, and increased car parking charges will push customers towards them,” said the MLA. “Small businesses rely heavily on increased trade during the Christmas period and hiking up parking charges will discourage customers from staying in town longer to shop.
“In a statement DRD said: “ The Department took the steps a numbers of years ago to introduce a small charge to park in the two main town centre car parks on the Sundays leading up to Christmas, at other times of the year parking is free on Sundays. This step was taken in an effort to better manage the use of the car parks in Abbey Street and at The Mall, discouraging all day parkers and leaving these spaces closest to the town centre available for shoppers. To further support shoppers and businesses in Coleraine, the Department, again in conjunction with Council, is providing a free Park and Ride facility.