In efforts to encourage the public to shop local this Christmas, motorists will be allowed to park on the street and public carparks all weekend for free in Portlaoise.
Laois County Council took the decision after consulting with the traders group Downtown Portlaoise, local businesses and public representatives. The move means that there will be free parking for shoppers all weekend between now and Christmas because Sundays are already free.
Cllr Mary Sweeney welcomed the intitative.
“I am pleased that Laois County Council has been so proactive. I sincerely hope that this initiative will encourage people to shop locally especially around the Main St which has been greatly enhanced by the addition of the new Christmas lights,” she said.
Cllr Sweeney emphasises the importance to local jobs of shopping in Portlaoise.
“We need to support every measure possible to entice customers to shop local this Christmas and create employment locally,” she said.
The temporary free parking offer is in addition to Portlaoise’s free half-hour parking scheme, which has been criticised by councillors for not being advertised clearly at ticket paypoints in the town.
Cllr Sweeney hopes the December offer will be clearly visible to parking motorists.
Alison Browne of the Portlaoise Downtown traders group said local businesses were delighted with the move and encouraged shoppers to take advantage.