City of Perth should follow lead of Australia’s biggest council, parking app company owner recommends

City of Perth should follow lead of Australia’s biggest council, parking app company owner recommends

THE City of Perth could address parking issues by following the example set by Australia’s biggest council, claims the chief executive of a parking app company.

Michael Doherty, the chief executive of CellOPark, said the company’s app had helped Brisbane Council.

CellOPark in WA started more than four years ago with Curtin University and is now being used in areas including the cities of Brisbane, Fremantle and Subiaco.

“Go into Fremantle, pay by the minute with the app from start to finish. Most people guess the time they need and over-feed the meter… this is a more fair and equitable system,” Mr Doherty said.

“If councils are smart they will move to pay by plate machines initially that streamline the process, saving time and money… if the City of Perth moves in the same direction as Brisbane – and Fremantle – it will be a win-win.”

Fremantle introduced the app in early 2015.

CellOPark claim that parking problems “burned a $3.7 billion hole” in the pockets of WA retailers.

A study conducted by the company found that parking issues such as “lack of spaces, fines and parking rates” deterred almost 70 per cent of WA motorists from shopping locally, instead conducting their Christmas shopping in large suburban malls or on-line.

The study claimed that this meant retailers missed out on potential revenue of $3.7 billion.

The study stated that “despite the fact 71 per cent of Western Australian shoppers believe local shopping provides a more enjoyable, festive experience, only a handful will take to the local stores”.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, so it’s essential we support them,” said Mr Doherty.

“As consumers, we’re constantly being told to shop local, but we need to make it convenient for shoppers to do so. Parking is one of the biggest hurdles local retailers face.

“What we’re finding is that on the one hand you have motorists parking for long periods of time or overfeeding the meter, essentially to hog the space and/or avoid getting fined in the town centre. On the flip side, other motorists are circling for spaces, adding to congestion before giving up and shopping out of town in shopping malls with free parking.”

The City of Perth did not respond to questions before deadline.