Car Parking Cost to drop for Christmas Shopping in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's Minister for Regional Development has announced that Car Parks under the control of the North's Department of Regional Development will reduced the cost of car parking in the region over the Christmas period. Minister Danny Kennedy (UUP) made the announcement about 25 towns that will benefit from the special Christmas parking rate. A minimum of 30p will apply for all cars but cars parked from one to five hours will pay just £1 from the 2nd of December to the 11th of January.

The scheme applies to 96 Road services car parks in 25 towns.

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. Last week I announced a Christmas transport package for shoppers and traders. This included free Park and Ride services in Belfast, Lisburn, Newry and Londonderry during late night shopping days and also on Saturdays, fare promotions and an embargo on road works over the Christmas period. "I also wanted to ensure that other areas received some assistance which would encourage shoppers to go into towns over the Christmas period. That is why I have decided to introduce a new reduced tariff of five hours for one pound across 95 of my Department's car parks."

Sinn Féin's Seán Lynch MLA welcomed the announcement saying “We raised this issue through the committee several months ago and the Minister has listened and implemented a sensible policy. It is important that we maintain vibrant town centres in order to sustain many independent retailers and small businesses that have struggled due to the global recession."