Shoppers to be signposted to car parks during Realm Scheme

Low cost of car parks to be highlighted durin Public Realm works. (Editorial Image).
Low cost of car parks to be highlighted durin Public Realm works. (Editorial Image).

The low cost and location of local car parks is to be signposted for shoppers in a bid to boost town centre trade during the Public Realm works.

Councillors agreed to produce temporary signage for “strategic” areas of the town centre at their monthly meeting in the town, last week.

An update report to members revealed that businesses contacted by Council felt signage stating “car parks are £1 for five hours” around town could have a substantial positive impact.

Planting and/or flowers are to be introduced to enhance the visual impact of the works, councillors were also told.

It was also revealed that to enhance information and communication between Council and the business community, the contractor had been requested to issue a booklet providing key information on the works to all businesses in the town.

Councillors heard that the publication will explain the scheme, what’s involved, key dates and work programme information in an easy read format as well as a question and answer section taken from issues already highlighted.

They also heard that the most common complaint was that the barrier stretches were too long with no breaks for road crossing.

The report pointed out that following negotiations, two addtiional openings to alleviate the issue had been agreed on Church Street, two on Broughshane Street and one on Ballymoney Street.

Wellington Street, which has a natural opening at the Tower Centre, however, will remain barriered for safety concerns due to its dual carriageway and the duo traffic flow on to it from Mill Street.

The report added: “The nature of Public Realm schemes can cause a degree of disruption and it will be Council’s intention to work with stakeholders as far as possible to minimise the impact of works through regular engagement and constant review.”