LIMERICK City and County Council will next week announce its plans for parking over the Christmas period.
The local authority last year offered free on-street parking in the city centre from 3pm between early December and the start of January in a bid to increase trade.
William Street shoe-shop owner Michael Gleeson said suspending disc parking last year was “fairly successful” – despite, he claimed, the council not advertising it well.
”Free parking is the main attraction to bring people into the city,” he added.
Last week, the Limerick Leader revealed the council’s early plans for Christmas, including a fashion contest led by Celia Holman-Lee, with Santa Claus due to switch on the lights in the city this Sunday from 4.30pm.
There will also be a competition to find which traders can deliver the best festive window in the city centre.
But Mr Gleeson – who has worked in the city for more than 40 years – was disappointed the details on parking was not in the line-up.
He said: “While I welcome all the different festivities and events I think the most important event for Limerick would be free parking over the Christmas period. Last year, when we had it, it was fairly successful. But the City Council never advertised it at all. This year, it seems to be a top secret. Nobody seems to know anything about it yet.”
Mr Gleeson said he had asked local representatives about the matter, “and nobody seemed to know much about it. So I would love it if City Council made a public announcement,” he added.
“We have plenty of parking in high-rise car parks. But not everybody wants to use these. I know well people both in city and county would love the idea of free parking. Of course, it has to be policed, but it is still a big attraction for the city – I think it is the main attraction to bring people into the city,” the businessman concluded.
A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council said: “Christmas parking details are being finalised at present and will be announced sometime next week.”
Meanwhile. the local authority has given notice that it is to launch a “new mobile parking payments service for Limerick” this Thursday in City Hall.