Car parking charges could put a well known firm out of businesses, the owners have claimed.
Stephen McKerr of McKerr’s in Union St says his business has fallen by 20% since Moore’s Lane Car Park became a paid for facility in 2012.
Trading since 1933, McKerr’s is a popular and respected hardware businesses, however Stephen believes the downturn in trade is a direct result of the parking fees.
And he has voiced his anger that despite writing to all councillors involved in an Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council committee which oversees parking, only two councillors responded.
He said SDLP Cllr Joe Nelson and UUP Colin McCusker voiced their support however the other five councillors failed to even reply. They were DUP Cllrs Carla Lockhart and Philip Moutray, plus Sinn Fein Cllrs Maire Cairns, Catherine Seeley and Philip Moutray.
The McKerr’s did a Freedom of Information request to Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council and he discovered that the cash reaped in by this car park is substantially less than what the McKerr’s pay in rates.
He said if his business was to close because of falling revenue, the Council would also lose rates revenue.
McKerr’s has also started a petition to remove the charges or at least have one hour’s free parking for customers. “I am overwhelmed with the support. We have had people phone up, people calling in. We have 500 signatures on paper and nearly 400 online. We have nearly 10% of the town.
“If a customer wants something small like a lightbulb they are faced with the option of having to park a great distance away or pay 30p for a item worth only £1. Those small items are our bread and butter,” he said.