Roe Valley Chamber has welcomed deferral of a decision to change car parking charges in Limavady town centre.
Members of Causeway Coast and Glens Council’s environmental services committee had agreed to remove the 20p per hour charge at the car park on Main Street, which would save £2,448.60.
However, the same option meant removing an option in Central Car Park, to pay £1 for five hours, with charges reverting back to the original tariff of 40p per hour only.
Charges at the Connell Street Car Park would remain at 40p per hour.
When the matter came for final decision at the monthly meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed to defer the issue, and take it back to the environmental committee next month for further discussion.
Roe Valley Chamber of Commerce previously complained there hadn’t been adequate consultation to introduce any changes but, with the matter back on the table, they say they are pleased there’ll be further discussion.
“The Chamber look forward to renewing the consultation with councillors so that both practical and positive solutions can be addressed, which will ultimately benefit the businesses in the town centre and halt the alarming decrease in footfall now being experienced,” said a Chamber spokesperson.
Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers said it is the right decision.
While happy to support the removal of charges at the Main Street Car Park, Colr. Chivers said the ‘£1 for five hours’ option should remain. She believes that option is beneficial to traders and staff, and also encourages shoppers to spend longer in the town.
“After talking to business owners and members of the Chamber, it appears they were not adequately consulted. I think deferring the decision for further discussion will bring relief to people who will be affected, and I think that shows common sense,” said Colr. Chivers.
She added: “People I had spoken with were shocked the ‘£1 for five hours’ option could be taken away. There is that fear that it would drive footfall out of the town to shop elsewhere.”
SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan believes there should be uniform tariffs across the two main car parks in Limavady town centre.
“People who use Connell Street Car Park complained more people were using Central Car Park because of the ‘£1 for five hours’ option.
“I think those two car parks should have the same charges. It means everyone has a level playing field,” said Colr. Mullan.