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Representatives from Newry Business Improvement District and Lisburn Chamber of Commerce have held an online meeting to discuss issues with  parking charges in both cities. Newry proportionally has a higher rate of parking enforcement than other areas. Also in attendance were Glyn Roberts (Retail NI),Mark McCall (Lisburn Chamber) and elected reps for Lagan Valley, Pat Catney MLA and Edwin Poots MLA.

Campaigners are asking for one hour free on-street parking, the same as is available in Banbridge, Armagh and Portadown and many other towns at present.

Monaghan Street, Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Monaghan Street, Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

A Newry BID Spokesperson said they are lobbying for fairer parking enforcement in Newry City Centre. "As one of only three central parking zones in NI, Newry is subject to over enforcement compared to other areas. We are lobbying hard for this to change."

Newry and Armagh MP, Mickey Brady and MLA Liz Kimmins who also attended explained that the parking penalties had a detrimental impact on  local businesses.

Ms Kimmins said “Following a productive meeting today with representatives from Newry BID, and Lisburn Chamber, Mickey Brady MP and I have reaffirmed our commitment to lobby the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to address the unfair implementation of Central Parking Zones in Newry and Lisburn."

The local MLA added "Newry has the highest number of parking tickets per 100 tickets across the North, and this is having a detrimental impact on businesses, particularly our small business owners in the Monaghan St and Hill St areas of the City.

"Newry BID along with Lisburn Chamber have been working hard on behalf of local businesses and have made a proposal for one hour free on-street parking to try and address this historic issue. I too will continue to work on behalf of the local business community on this issue which could be quickly and easily resolved”

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