Belfast Telegraph

Traders voice economic concerns

Belfast traders have met Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy to discuss issues facing the city centre’s economy.

Paul McMahon, manager of CastleCourt, said he raised concerns among the traders about the appearance of streets during work on the city centre’s infrastructure.

“In light of the £28m investment under the Belfast Streets Ahead Project we are concerned this work would be undone by maintenance of utility infrastructure,” Mr McMahon said.

“We were pleased that the minister recognised the problem and are confident he shares our determination that the high standard of this work should not be eroded by patchwork or piecemeal road works. We simply can’t allow the city centre to take three steps forward and two steps back.”

John Moore, president of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, said delegates thanked Mr Murphy for relaxing parking restrictions in the run-up to Christmas.

“The Minister’s flexibility in relaxing parking restrictions in parts of the city centre had the knock-on effect of encouraging private sector car-parks to offer special Christmas rates.”

Belfast city centre manager Andrew Irvine addressed improved enforcement of pedestrian zones.

“While Belfast has a number of pedestrian zones we need to make sure that these are properly observed and we suggested that rising bollards could be an appropriate measure to help this effort.”

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