Limerick City ‘park and stride’ scheme to provide free Christmas parking

Cleeves site
The Cleeves site which was the scene of an army training exercise.

More than 300 free car parking spaces will be available for shoppers and visitors to Limerick city centre this Christmas.

220 of the free spaces are located at the Cleeve’s site, just a short walk from the central shopping area.

Parking will be available from this Friday, December 8 (9am to 9pm) up to and including New Year’s Eve. The site will remain open until midnight on New Year’s Eve to facilitate those wishing to attend the New Year’s Eve Fireworks display.

There will be a security presence at the Cleeve’s site for the duration of the parking.

Limerick City and County Council is also making its 85 space staff car park behind its headquarters at Merchant’s Quay available for free parking for the next three weekends in December from 9am to 9pm. Access is from Nicholas Street and security will be provided for the duration of the free parking initiative.

The spaces, called ‘Park & Strides’ are designed specifically for shoppers and other visitors to Limerick city centre to allow them to soak up the unique atmosphere of Limerick during the festive period.

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Both sites provide shoppers and other visitors to the city centre with free spaces and this late night availability ties in with retailers throughout the city centre who are opening late on Fridays and extra hours on Sunday in the run up to Christmas.

Over recent years, the council has provided free on-street parking, either in the mornings or afternoons. However feedback indicated that it was almost impossible to avail of this offer as all of the on-street spaces were taken and there was little or no turnover of spaces throughout the day.

The introduction of the ‘Park and Strides’ initiative will guarantee more than 200 free car park spaces every day and more than 300 spaces at weekends over the Christmas period.

Mayor Stephen Keary said the provision of the ‘Park & Strides’ was in keeping with Healthy Ireland, the national framework for improved health and wellbeing.

“The council is encouraging members of the public to be physically active this Christmas and walk the last five to ten minutes of their journey to shop in the city centre,” he explained.

Limerick Chamber chief executive James Ring said the provision of free car parking sends out a positive signal that Limerick city centre is open for business.

“We’re asking retailers to stay open late on Friday nights and on Sundays for the month of December and with a range of free family events in the city over the next few weekends, Limerick excels at Christmas time,” he added.

As part of the Limerick sustainable transport scheme, members of the public may also avail of the bus services across the region to travel to the city centre.

LEAP cards offer up to 30 per cent discount on regular fares, while the National Transport Authority has extended the city centre fare zone to encompass Ardnacrusha, Castleconnell and Clonlara meaning it is now cheaper to catch the bus into Limerick city from these areas.

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