O’Rourke formally welcomes festive provision of free parking in local authority car parks

In an effort to generate more activity for Athlone’s retailers, restaurants, hotels and pubs, Westmeath County Council, supported by Athlone Chamber of Commerce are providing all-day, free parking in six town centre car parks for a full week from Saturday, December 17 to Saturday, December 24.

Free parking will be available at the following locations - The Fair Green Car Park, St Marys Car Park, The Strand Car Park, Connaught Street Car Park, Athlone Castle Car Park and O’Connell Street Car Park. You will still be required to pay for parking at privately owned facilities and along ‘on-street’ pay zones.

Proposed by Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, the week long initiative, highlights the council’s support of local businesses particularly during the busiest retail period of the year.

“This is a positive initiative, and it is a considerable investment by the council. The local authority will forego significant car-parking revenue in the run-up to Christmas. However, it demonstrates that the council is supportive of Athlone’s businesses and I hope that the waiving of car parking fees and increased traffic management will make shopping locally considerably more attractive to the people in the Athlone region and those visiting our town.

“I would also urge local businesses to offer further incentives to shoppers such as discounts or savings to match the council’s initiative and ensure Christmas shoppers get excellent value in Athlone this festive season,” Cllr O’Rourke said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Mr Alan Shaw, president, Athlone Chamber of Commerce, noted that the initiative would be a boost to members.

“Athlone Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be associated with the free car parking initiative once again. This will give a boost to our members in retail who will benefit from increased shoppers to the town during the free car parking period. We wish to thank Westmeath County Council for providing the necessary funding to enable this initiative. We also use this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a happy new year,” Mr Shaw remarked.


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