independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

Nice town, shame about parking

WEXFORD is a great town but it's a pity about the car parking facilities - that's the conclusion of a nationwide survey published at the weekend.

Retail Excellence Ireland set out to find the country's top towns and cities by asking citizens and business owners to rate their own area.

Wexford finished in the top 25 out of 100 locations, finishing in 16th place with a total score of 74.04%.

This was based on a public satisfaction rating of 73.40% and a retailers' score of 75.54%.

The town rated highly in all areas except car parking availability with members of the public placing it eight per cent below the national average in this category.

The survey asked a range of questions about streetscape, presentation, quality of shops, choice of restaurants and overall image.

When it comes to safety and security, people believe Wexford rates well at four per cent above the national average.

Asked if it is a family friendly town, shoppers agreed that it is, putting it eight per cent above the average.

Wexford's streetscape ranked 12 per cent higher than the countrywide average.

The town was found to be eight per cent better maintained with shoppers having 10 per cent more quality stores to choose from.

But Wexford's ranking was dragged down by the response of people to a question about car parking.

The town would have finished higher up the table if not for the fact that the public's satisfaction with the availability of car parking is eight per cent below the national average.

They are also unhappy about the cost of car parking and ranked Wexford prices two per cent below average.

The survey which involved 16,000 citizens and business owners in 100 towns and cities throughout Ireland, was carried out with the aim of highlighting the factors that make a town commercially attractive and identifying improvements that can be made.

Westport in County Mayo was crowned Ireland's best town while Kilkenny is the best city.

'It is critically important that the results of the survey are used to help improve our towns and cities,' said Cormac Ken nedy, chairman of the Retail Excellence Ireland Town and City Revival Committee.

' This should act as a road map for towns and cities to help them focus on areas that they can improve on.'

The survey showed that surburban towns are viewed by people as the safest places to live with provincial towns like Wexford coming second.

Dining and entertainment play an important role in the attractiveness of a town, especially for male customers.

Mature shoppers are more interested in the streetscape and presentation of a town than their younger counterparts.

The availability and price of car parking is an important factor in people visiting a town especially for those travelling 11 - 20 km to shop.

Middle-aged people are most engaged with car parking issues.

People in provincial towns are more likely to visit the town if car parking is reasonably priced and accessible.

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