CITY Hall is set to unveil its newest set of parking incentives in the coming days - but officials are being warned that it needs to be backed by a strong PR campaign to keep shoppers in the city centre.
The new measures, including a free park and ride service and incentives at the city's multi-storeys, will be in place from early October for six weeks if approved by Council.
In August, City Hall introduced a suite of measures to encourage people to use public transport and visit the city centre.
This included competitive rates at the North Main Street and Paul Street car parks, as well as free access to the park and ride on the Kinsale Road, which now operates an extended service onto Patrick Street.
Discounted bus fares were also introduced by Bus Éireann, though this offer has since come to an end.
On Monday, councillors will be asked to approve the re-introduction of City Hall's traditional Autumn measures which are designed to support the city centre in 'generating visitors, footfall, spend and interest in the city centre in advance of the Christmas period in order to make the city a vibrant and attractive place to visit, dine and shop.'
Incentivised parking has been offered annually since 2011.
This year, proposals include free parking from 10am to midday Monday to Thursday in Paul Street and North Main Street car parks, as well as free parking from 6.30pm to midnight in Paul Street and 6.30pm to 9.30pm in North Main Street on Thursdays and Fridays. These initiatives will run from October 8 for six weeks.
The park and ride will also be free of charge every Saturday from October 13 for six weeks.
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy welcomed the moves to encourage shoppers into the city centre but warned City Hall that a strong communications strategy will be needed to get the message out there.
“It is important that the strong public relations campaign created by the City Council in August is maintained; the Council need to keep the momentum going and getting the message out there to shop local and in your City," he said.
"Plus there are a number of high profile festivals such as the folk and the jazz festivals coming up, all of which are highly entertaining and need public support. It is great to see as well full listings up on the website, www.purecork.ie so that the public’s can see what events are coming up."