PARKING IN downtown Faro should be less of a headache from now onwards, thanks to the opening last Friday of the Praça e Estacionamento da Pontinha, a major new underground car park and square in the city centre.
The much needed car park, which took 18 months to build, boasts a total of 600 spaces, spread over three levels, and is open 24 hours. The tariff for parking there is 40 cents for 30 minutes for the first two hours, and 50 cents per 30 minutes thereafter. Parking during night-time hours is charged at 50 cents per hour.
Also part of the parking complex is an enormous praça (square) that is believed to be one of the biggest in Portugal. It measures around
8,000sqm and boasts an attractive garden with fountains, orange trees and flowerbeds, as well as decorative lighting.
In order to mark the opening, a concert was given by well known Portuguese singer Rui Veloso, a performance which followed the official ceremony presided over by José Vítorino, Faro Câmara President, and Eng. Pedro Teixeira Duarte, president of Teixeira Duarte Engenharia e Construção S.A., the company responsible for the new parking complex.
Car park is long overdue
Congestion in the city centre has been a cause of great concern over the last few years with many motorists forced to circle the area for long periods, while looking for a parking space. In addition, many drivers have been parking their cars illegally, in their desperation to access Faro’s law courts, tax office, conservátoria, workplaces and shops. It is, therefore, hoped that the new facility will go some way to easing the problem.
No parking available in Historic Centre
Now that the new car park has been opened, it will no longer be possible to park in Faro’s historic centre. Only residents will be permitted to park there, as was the case before the area downtown was fenced off for the new car park to be built.
The completion of the new car park is obviously considered to be a major triumph for the city, because the celebrations continued on Saturday with all day entertainment from French theatre company, Teatro do Mar, who also performed a spectacular entitled Daimonion.