Published Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Concerns have been raised over the cost of parking in Belfast city centre. (© Pacemaker)
Drivers can already struggle to find parking spaces during the busy festive rush, but paying the bill can also be tough.
While on-street parking in Belfast costs 60p for 30mins and £3.60 for three hours, that rises to £1.70 for 30mins and £4.70 for three hours at Castlecourt.
In Hi-Park, the cost for three hours rises again to £6, while it is £9 for the same amount of time in Victoria Square.
And over at Montgomery Street, it's hiked to £11.30 for three hours.
Some deals are in place for evenings and weekends, but drivers are still counting the cost.
I think they will want to reflect on whether they represent value for many and, in the current climate, are they fair levels to be applying to people who want to come in to the centre of Belfast and do some shopping to assist the local economy.
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy
Traders also want to see every effort made by private car park operators to help encourage shoppers into the city.
"They have an important role because many shoppers rely on those car parks and we need that and the traders in Belfast need all the help they can," Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, told UTV.
"We want to see action from them - when are they going to step up to the plate?"
The Department for Regional Development recently announced cut-price parking in towns across Northern Ireland and there are also offers on public transport, but it says the onus is now on the private car parks.
© UTV News