A Longford businessman has decided to open up his car park for a nominal charge of just â‚¬1 per day, regardless of whether the stay is for short term or all day parking.
Michael Mollaghan confirmed the news this week saying that it was â€œa very positive move to encourage more shoppers into the town, and also facilitate staff in those shops who require all-day parking.â€
He told the Leader that he was conscious of the serious concern amongst the townâ€™s business owners about parking charges and how they are affecting business and as such, he has decided to open up his extensive parking area in the town centre, on a trial basis, for a nominal charge of just â‚¬1.
Part of his car park, opening on to the Market Square, had been leased to the former Town Council but this is no longer the case. This section of car park, combined with the space at the Mollaghanâ€™s of Longford store on Earl Street means that Mr Mollaghan will have space for over 200 cars per day.
â€œI have been hearing from so many fellow businessmen in the town, how their customers and staff are being affected by parking charges and I totally agree with them in this regard,â€ Michael said.
â€œI decided that I would take the first positive step to support my fellow store and business owners, and hopefully the Council and other car park owners, will also follow suit.â€
Cathaoirleach of Longford Municipal District Mae Sexton said that she wholeheartedly welcomes the news.
â€œI think itâ€™s a fantastic initiative,â€ she told the Leader. Cllr Sexton has been an opponent of paid parking charges and she says that she believes that the move will make the council re-consider its position on paid parking.
â€œ The fact that he is a businessman and has the ear of his local businesspeople is very significant.â€ she said.
â€œThe council will have to review the issue of paid parking for once and for all.â€
She concluded: â€œWe really need to get rid of paid parking in this town.â€