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Free parking fills shoppers and businesses in the borough with festive cheer

ABC Council is gearing up to attract a surge of shoppers and encourage a much-needed upturn in trade for retailers and hospitality providers in the run-up to the busy shopping season with the return of its hugely popular free parking initiative.

As in previous years, parking fees will be waived in council-owned off-street pay-and-display car parks in Armagh City, Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown on Saturday 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd December.

In addition to these key dates, this initiative will be further extended to include Georgian Day in Armagh City (Saturday 25 November) and the Christmas lights switch on and twilight market events in each of these town centres: Lurgan (Friday 17th November), Portadown (Saturday 18th November) and Banbridge (Friday 24th November).

Commenting on the importance of shopping local this Christmas, Lord Mayor Alderman Margaret Tinsley said: “Free off-street parking is a key element of our ‘Christmas Comes Alive in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough’ campaign this year.

Through this initiative, we hope to increase footfall to our borough and encourage visitors to stay for longer and enjoy more of what our city and town centres have to offer at this festive time of year, whether they’re shopping locally or travelling from elsewhere.

A bustling Christmas trading period can be a huge boost to local retailers and hospitality providers. It is at this time of year, more than ever, they need your continued custom and loyalty.

Shopping local can make a big difference to keeping these businesses going, our town centres thriving and local communities prospering.”

Some 1,569 parking spaces will be free to use in 15 council-owned off-street pay-and-display car parks in the borough’s main urban centres. These include Dobbin Street Lane, Friary Road East, Linenhall Street and Lonsdale Road in Armagh City; Bridge Street East, Commercial Road, Downshire Place and Townsend Street in Banbridge; Castle Lane and Waring Street 3 in Lurgan; and Magowan Buildings, Marley Street, Meadow Lane West, West Street and William Street in Portadown.

In addition to placing covers on parking meters in all relevant car parks, signage will be placed at the entrance of car parks to remind shoppers that they can avail of free parking on the specified dates.

Motorists are reminded that traffic attendants will still be operating in car parks on the free parking days and will enforce all other aspects of car parking, for example out of bay parking, to ensure that car parks will still operate in a safe manner for all users.

Discover more about the magical family-friendly celebrations happening in our city, towns and rural villages this festive season at

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