Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for South Belfast Michael McGimpsey has called on the Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy to lift parking charges in Belfast over the Christmas period.
In a statement Mr McGimpsey said, “The traders in Belfast City Centre have had a very difficult year with the economic downturn, the introduction of bus lanes, road works, congestion and the removal of the union flag. Retail in the city centre provides large numbers of jobs and a significant contribution to Belfast and the wider Northern Ireland economy.”
“We must support these traders and their employees. I am therefore calling on the Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy, to introduce free evening and weekend on-street parking throughout Belfast in the run up to Christmas. This will help encourage shoppers onto the high street, supporting local jobs.”
In conclusion, Mr McGimpsey said, “The Minister for Regional Development has introduced free on-street parking in previous years which has gone a long way to supporting local businesses. I see no reason why it cannot be introduced this year given the particular difficulties Belfast City Centre traders have experienced in the past year.”