Shoppers will be able to park in Carrick-on-Suir Town Council car parks for free on the last three Saturdays before Christmas.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien informed the Town Council’s monthly meeting last week that the Council will not charge motorists for parking their vehicles in its car parks on Saturdays, December 7, 14 and 21.
He made the announcement in his written response to Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin’s motion, which called on the Council to allow free parking in the town every Saturday until Christmas starting this Saturday, November 23.
Cllr O’Loughlin pressed for the free parking initiative to commence on November 23 instead of December 7 on the grounds these were tough economic times and the sooner shoppers were encouraged to come to Carrick-on-Suir to do their Christmas shopping the better as it would make more people aware of the scheme.
But Mr O’Brien responded that he considered the free parking initiative he announced to be a reasonable compromise to Cllr O’Loughlin’s proposal.
He reminded councillors the Council operated a free car park at the Fair Green all year round and pointed out that there was no such thing as free car parking. “In this case, it’s the Town Council that is paying for it,” he explained.
Mr O’Brien suggested the owners of private car parks in the town should also be approached to provide free car parking in the run up to Christmas. “The onus shouldn’t only be on the Town Council,” he argued.
Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Kieran Bourke said this was a brilliant suggestion and he called on the private car park owners to match the Town Council’s Christmas shopping free parking scheme. He suggested Carrick Business Association write to the private car park owners and request them to match what the Council was doing on the three Saturdays in December.