Concerns have been raised after figures revealed an alarming decrease in town centre footfall.
The figures were recorded over a two-year period between May 2017 and May 2019.
DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said she was concerned to see once very busy town centres such as Banbridge and Portadown show declines.
Speaking on the matter Carla Lockhart said: “I am happy to see Lurgan continuing to thrive but am somewhat dismayed to see Banbridge and Portadown decline.
“There are great shopping offerings in all three towns and we should all where possible support our local traders.
“I know some shoppers are put off by parking charges and over efficient parking wardens and I would call on council to rethink the parking charges in car parks and give an extended free parking period for shoppers to allow them to browse the town centres.
“From speaking with traders I am aware this is a constant source of aggravation to them as it deters shoppers from having longer to spend in their shops.
“Parking and business rates are always top of the agenda. If shops have to close due to lack of footfall then that too reduces the revenue for the Council so they should listen to the feedback from traders.
“I do hope in the coming year to see Portadown and Banbridge join Lurgan in an upward trend.
“I would call again the Council to reconvene the Town Centre Taskforce and for work to be carried out on a marketing, business and community engagement plan for each town Centre. We need to act now.”
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