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Newry Business Improvement District (BID) along with Retail NI and Lisburn Chamber has jointly called upon the Infrastructure Minister to review on-street car parking charges in the two city centres.

The business groups are calling for the same one hour free on-street car parking schemes which other local towns and cities successfully operate.

In a joint statement Newry BID Retail NI and Lisburn Chamber said “For too long Newry and Lisburn city centres have been at a competitive disadvantage to other town and city centres because we have paid on-street car parking and they do not.”

“Shoppers and visitors have said that a quick visit to other town/city centres without the hassle of finding spare change is welcome and hassle-free. The one-hour free on-street car parking still ensures that there is enforcement, the turnover of cars and will not add to congestion.”

“Now that we are preparing to reopen our city centres, this measure would be a much-needed boost to our retail and hospitality sectors and help on the long road to recovery. Our three organisations will continue to champion choice for the shopper, should this be public transport, walking, cycling and of course by car.”

Newry BID are suggesting free one hour on street parking in Newry City, similar to places like Armagh and Banbridge. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

“We are extremely disappointed that the Infrastructure Minister has refused not just to meet us but has also refused to even agree to a review of on-street car parking in Newry and Lisburn.”

“Even a six-month trial of free one-hour on-street car parking would be helpful.”

“We would urge all Newry and Lisburn elected representatives to rally round and support our campaign for this common sense change.”

Help support Businesses

MLA Liz Kimmins is supporting the call and the Newry and Armagh representative said “Allowing for a trial for one hour free on street car parking would allow us to try and find a balance between supporting our businesses and enforcing parking.

Liz Kimmins, MLA

“It could also help us support businesses as we move out of covid by encouraging local shopping.

“This is something I have been engaging with Newry BID on, who were disappointed that the Minister declined to meet with local business groups. 

 “I have written to the Minister for Infrastructure on this issue, encouraging her to listen and engage with the businesses on the ground here and try a new way of doing things which will potentially provide a better outcome for all.

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