Traders’ group welcomes free car parking initiative

The car park at The Square, Ballyclare. INNT 36-024-FP
The car park at The Square, Ballyclare. INNT 36-024-FP
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The President of Ballyclare Chamber of Trade has welcomed an agreement between the council and Roads Service that will see motorists offered free town centre car parking over Christmas and New Year.

At their monthly meeting last week, councillors approved extending the lease of The Square car park with Roads Service to March 31, 2014, with specific provision for free parking on Saturdays in December and January.

Alison Thompson, who runs The Beautician Day Spa on Main Street, welcomed the move, saying: “I think it’s fantastic. It worked well when we did it a few months ago and it was successful and we definitely noticed more people in the town on Saturdays and an upturn in trade on those days, so hopefully this will bring more shoppers into the town over the Christmas period.”

Chamber of Trade representatives are continuing talks with the DRD and council in a bid to find a more permanent solution to the town’s parking problems, with a view to having more free parking in order to boost footfall.

“We are trying to look at the car parking situation in the town and a system that will give us more flexibility, but in the mean time, until we can get that finalised, I think this is a great move,” Alison added.