Shoppers divided over paid parking introduction

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Consumers have given a mixed reaction to news one of Longford town’s busiest car parks is now subject to pay and display parking rules.

Consumers have given a mixed reaction to news one of Longford town’s busiest car parks is now subject to pay and display parking rules.

Shoppers who frequent Longford Retail Park, which houses the likes of discount retail chain Aldi and Elvery’s Sport, recently discovered signs advising them of the newly introduced measures.

The notices which are manned by Dublin based firm Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems (NCPS) carry the slogan ‘Warning: Private Property’ and advise motorists of the €120 clamping fee that now exists.

It’s a warning which has already garnered differing views locally while also provoking extensive debate on social media.

One of those who voiced their own concerns over its introduction was local man, Miceal Nolan.

He took to Facebook, bemoaning a lack of foresight and low level of awareness which had been made available to unsuspecting shoppers.

“The fact that this has happened with very little notice to the public needs to be highlighted or a lot of people will be out a lot of money paying for clamps to be removed,” he wrote.

Not all shared Mr Nolan’s views however.

Another contributor to the debate, Amanda Fitzgerald said there was nonetheless merit in the decision to introduce paid parking.

“Businesses in the Retail Park are suffering because our customers can’t get a parking spot and from speaking to them they are more than happy to pay 50c to park and shop,” she claimed.

“It will do the businesses of the park great and with three further units coming soon something had to give.”

A spokesman from NCPS confirmed they had recently been contracted to operate a controlled parking system by the Retail Park’s management.

“The objective of the controlled parking is to prevent all-day parking,” he said.