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We support your Park The Charges call

Larne Traders Forum is writing to support your Park The Charges campaign against the proposed introduction of on-street parking charges to towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

These proposed “savings measures” based on raising increased revenue income will be a tax on town centre shopping and must be rejected if our town centre businesses and independent retailers are to be supported, particularly during the current recession.

The current system in Larne town centre where stoppers can park free for up to one hour ensures there is good turnover use of parking spaces and encourages shoppers to the town centre. Charges would result in sending more stoppers to out of town stores and shopping centres where parking is free.

Town centres need to be supported by all to ensure that they can continue to contribute to the economic, social and community life of Northern Ireland; consumers need to be offered a real choice of retailers; sustainable local employment needs to be nurtured; and policies need to be developed which build strong and vibrant town centres.

The forum supports the need for an overall review of car parking policy to support town centre usage, complemented by an integrated, accessible and affordable public transport system.

Introducing on-street parking charges in isolation is wrong and we support the need for a debate and review of overall car parking policy.

JOHN SHANNON

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