Free parking on Saturdays during works

Westmeath County Council has agreed to offer free parking in Blackhall over the next few Saturdays to accommodate business people and shoppers affected by the upgrade of the town’s watermains. Free parking will be available on Saturdays in Blackhall, for the duration of the works. Cllr Detty Cornally tabled the motion which she said would “assist local businesses”. “Speaking to business people when car parking was free in the run-up to Christmas, they noticed the difference in business,” she said. The council’s director of services David Hogan pointed out that the average daily income for car parking in Mullingar is approximately €3,900. He also questioned the value of offering free parking at such short notice. “We have been monitoring parking usage and there has been no decrease, which would indicate that people are not turning away. My intention was to have an extended period of parking last Christmas and next Christmas to reflect our empathy with businesses and apologies for the disruption [during the watermains upgrade]. I’m not sure there would be any significant benefit to having an un-announced and unadvertised free period,” he said. However he agreed to the proposal which had the unanimous support of councillors.


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