CALLS have been made for Limerick City and County Council to look at a compensation scheme for businesses trading in areas where pedestrianisation is being considered.
Green Party Councillor Saša Novak Ui Choncuir said that the council should look at developing a programme of rates reduction or other financial compensations for traders in affected areas.
“The city centre is not only a place for shopping. It needs to be an attractive place to visit and attractive for people living there,” she said.
She added that city businesses have experienced extreme pressures and fear losses of business and revenue if cars are banned.
“We can try to sell the story of milk and honey to the retailers that are on the streets that we would like to see pedestrianised (but) we’re not going to succeed unless we make it easier to transition to a new system,” the Green Party councillor said.
Cllr Novak Ui Chonchuir said she was inspired by a similar scheme implemented in the Netherlands and agreed to a request from Fine Gael Councillor Olivia O’Sullivan to look into getting a speaker from there to come and address the council on the issue.
The council’s Director of Economic Development and Enterprise, Vincent Murray said that the experience is that short-term pain for businesses affected is outweighed by long-term gain.
He said that in order to compensate businesses the council would be required to find the money to fund it from somewhere.