Deserted parking lot angers shopkeepers

An empty car park is the result of a payment scheme re-introduced by municipal company Global Loulé at Bougainvillea Plaza and Quinta Shopping, in Quinta do Lago, Loulé, a decision which is leading to harsh criticism from clients and traders alike.

It is believed that the paid-parking system will again be in operation during the summer but shopkeepers are already showing their discontent with the measure which they say has affected the flow of customers.

Michael Ferrada, who runs an office in the centre, told the Algarve Resident that the area of the paid parking lot is regularly empty and he claims there is no logic behind the measure, which has only damaged the shopping centre’s business.

“The continuation of this parking system will force the centre to turn into another seasonal activity,” he said, adding that visitors to the area have dropped nearly 30%. “Those interested in just getting a cup of coffee while reading their newspaper will not be fooled into paying for parking when they can go elsewhere.”

Traders were told that the charges were implemented because many construction workers were using the parking lot when the Conrad Hotel and The Keys development were being built. However, the construction work has long reached its end yet the parking charges are still in place.

The Algarve Resident contacted Quinta do Lago-based infrastructure company InfraQuinta, who said they were not in charge of the system, which was Global Loulé’s responsibility.

The Loulé municipal company was then contacted but was unable to provide an answer at the time of going to press. Michael Bruxo