The Chambers of Commerce in Belfast, Newry and Lisburn, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) and Hospitality Ulster has issued a joint call to the Infrastructure Minister to reverse his decision to hike on-street car parking charges in Belfast, Newry and Lisburn.
Charges in Belfast City Centre will increase by 20p per hour to £1.40, while a number of streets on the edge of the city centre with a current charge of 80p per hour will increase to £1.20 per hour. Charges in Newry will increase from 40p to 60p per hour and in Lisburn, from 60p to 80p per hour.
Belfast Chamber of Trade, Lisburn Chamber of Commerce, Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade, NIIRTA and Hospitality Ulster said:
“Our organisations represent many thousands of businesses in the three cities. We are disappointed that the Minister made this decision without any consultation with our members. Rather than increasing Parking Charges, the Minister should be reducing them to encourage more people to come into city centres”
“We need a level playing field for shoppers who use their cars, public transport, or who walk or cycle to our town and city centres”
“The Minister or his successor should rethink these unfair and unnecessary hikes which are little more than a further burden on shoppers”
“The only winners from this hike are the big out of town superstores with their unfair competitive advantage of free car-parking and no over-zealous traffic attendants”
“We are seeking an immediate meeting with the Minister and will engaging with our local Councils and MLAs to lobby for this hike to be dropped”