Portimão to tackle paid parking and bolster economy

Portimão council aims to reduce the number of paid parking spots in the town from 716 to 152 and is expecting to pay parking concession companies around €1 million in compensation.

“The goal is to offer more free parking which will bring more people to the centre of town,” Portimão mayor Isilda Gomes told Correio da Manhã tabloid.

Hopes are that the increased number of free parking spots will encourage more people to shop locally, thus bolstering the local economy.

Retailers in Portimão have blamed the decline of local commerce on the proliferation of parking meters in the town’s centre, especially as there are several shopping centres where parking is free.

Gomes says that negotiations are already underway to retrieve over 500 paid parking spaces from the hands of concessioners. Once a deal is achieved, it will have to be approved by the Court of Auditors.