'Cork's free spaces won't affect Mallow'
THE immediate introduction of more than 1,000 free car parking spaces for shoppers in Cork City will not have an adverse impact on Mallow.
That's the view of Mallow Chamber president Mary Kelly, who said she felt there was no need to introduce a similar initiative in Mallow this far ahead of the traditionally busy Christmas shopping season. This week Cork City Council announced details of the free parking offer in the city's two publicly owned car parks in Paul Street and North Main Street that will come into effect immediately.
The council also confirmed that parking charges at its Black Ash park and ride facility near Kinsale Road roundabout will be temporarily suspended on Saturday's for the next six weeks.
The move was welcomed by the Cork Business Association, with a spokesman there was no doubt but that pay parking was a barrier to shoppers coming into the city.
Ms Kelly said she felt she believed the city council was jumping the gun by introducing the measures this early in the year.
"Personally I think that introducing such a measure for the month of December is enough. At the moment people are still trying to get over the financial burden of returning back to school," she said.
"I have always believed December is the right time to introduce parking incentives. That is why the chamber will be seeking a return of the scheme that ran last year which allowed for free parking in all car-parks on Saturday during the month," she added.
Ms Kelly said this must be part of a concerted campaign supported by special offers aimed at attracting shoppers into Mallow town.
"If you think about it we have more than 1,000 people working in EPS, Kostal and Barry's alone. We need to make shopping in Mallow an attractive proposition for these people and those living in the greater Mallow area," she said.
"I certainly do not believe that the move by Cork City Council will take from Mallow, particularly when you take into account the costs of petrol and the time it takes to travel to and from Cork. It is also worth remembering that there is already free parking in Mallow before 10am and after 5pm," she added.