Two hour, free, on street parking, in Galway city centre between the hours of 10am and 12 noon, come into force on Monday and will run for a three week period.
The initiative, which is being introduced by the Galway City Council and the Galway City Business Association, will also see private car parks in the city provide special rates to customers. Q-Park, Eyre Square Shopping Centre, is offering day rates from €4 per day when booked in advance, while Park Rite, Hynes Yard Car Park, is promoting day rates from €8 and three hour parking 10am to 1pm for €4.50.
Further promotions and discounts associated with the free parking trial include free tea or coffee with every pastry purchased in the GBC Restaurant, Lynches, and Griffins Bakery.
Those behind the initiative hope that it will encourage the public to come into the city centre and an upswing in retail activity.
“The free street parking will help city centre business increase trade during the quiet November period,” said the Mayor of Galway Pádraig Conneely, but he also called on other private car park operators to “come on board in a similar manner and provide their customers with offers to ensure the city’s continued success”.
Labour city councillor Niall McNelis, who has been calling for such an initiative for some time, feels that the Galway Chamber of Commerce, Galway City Business Association, The Latin Quarter, West End Traders, Wood Quay Traders, and the various management companies that look after the shopping centres, must “actively promote the free parking initiative”.
He also argues that if the free parking goes well in November, it should also be introduced again in January 2014, during another traditionally quiet retail period.
Further information on the participating stores, restaurants, and car parks in the initiative, is available through www.facebook.com/GalwayCityBusinessAssociation