Waterford retailers have decided to step up their campaign to have the City Council reduce its parking charges, a gesture they believe would make the city centre more attractive to shoppers.
Representatives of the retailers have already met with Tanaiste Mary Coughlan, with the Mayor, Councillor John Halligan, and twice with executives of the City Council.  They have also contacted the owners of the private car-parks in the city and appealed to them to reduce their daily fees and, in particular, to introduce a free-parking time from 9 to 11am each Monday to Friday.
“Unfortunately”, said a spokesperson for the City Centre Retailers Association, “our efforts to highlight the gravity of the situation has, so far, fallen on deaf ears”.
“Trading in the city centre is now akin to being on the front-line in a war zone and history has shown that, in many cases, the generals are sitting in their offices detached and blind to the casualties.”
The association now intends to meet separately with every elected member of the City Council in an effort to address the parking issue.  “Summer is almost over and, if we don’t act now, we won’t be able to improve trade for the Christmas period with disastrous consequences”, said the spokesperson.