Mr Durkan said a wider consultation is needed in order to adequately assess the impact of these plans on local businesses and the public.
Said the Foyle MLA: “Currently, three different department or agencies are separately progressing plans that will have an impact on the availability of parking in Derry City Centre.
“Last week, I read a local MLA claim credit for parking-related proposals which are being brought forward by Council officers for consideration by Council.
“However, he did not mention plans being progressed by the Department for Communities that will see the replacement of Society Street car park with ‘a garden’, with work due to start in March 2024.
“Around the same time, Northern Ireland Water will be embarking on a significant and overdue piece of work on Foyle Street.
“This work is essential but it will see the temporary loss of Foyle Street car park for possibly up to six months.
“Unbelievably, many city centre businesses remain oblivious to these proposals and have not been consulted, or the inevitable impact on their trade considered.”
Mr Durkan added: “I understand and actually support the long-term aspiration to pedestrianise areas within the city centre, recognising the environmental and economic benefits it could harness.
“However, I have previously been critical of what appears to have been a piecemeal approach to pedestrianisation to date.
“Bits have been done here and there with inadequate consultation with the public, local business and one sometimes gets the impression between government agencies themselves.
“Local businesses that are the beating heart of our city centre – they need to be front and centre of any consultation process, ideally one that strategically looks at the city centre as an eco-system rather than at these prospective proposals in isolation.”Tags: