There is good news for festive shoppers from today (Thursday, December 17 ), as the annual free parking period for Christmas returns to Athlone thanks to a proposal by Mayor of Athlone, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke.
At a recently held Athlone Moate Municipal District meeting, Cllr O’Rourke proposed that for the eleventh consecutive year the Council should provide an incentive for shoppers to stay local and support local. Unsurprisingly, the proposal was unanimously supported.
“Parking will be free in all Council car parks in the Athlone area for all of Christmas week, effective from Thursday 17th December. People are encouraged to park responsibly,” Cllr O’Rourke remarked.
The Town Mayor stated that the temporary suspension of parking charges was an effort on behalf of the Council to encourage support for local businesses over the Christmas season.
“As has happened in other years, Westmeath County Council is providing some amendments to the parking charges regime to give a small but significant incentive to shoppers to shop local and support local businesses at Christmas time.
“We should all bear in mind that every euro spent locally supports local jobs and keeps money in this county’s economy. I would encourage people to avail of the free parking provision next week and to consider the benefits of shopping locally this Christmas.
“This initiative would not be possible were it not for the support of my colleagues in Westmeath County Council and Athlone Chamber of Commerce and I would like to thank them all,” Cllr O’Rourke asserted.
“Athlone Chamber is delighted to be associated with the free car parking initiative in Athlone. This will give a boost to our members in retail who will benefit from increased shoppers to the town from December 17-24 inclusive. We wish to thank the Mayor, members of Athlone Municipal District and the Director of Services, Barry Kehoe for providing the necessary funding,” Athlone Chamber President Alan Shaw, commented.