Free parking trial for ‘key zones’ in City of Perth

Royal Street in East Perth.
Royal Street in East Perth.

PERTH drivers are set to score an hour of free parking in a bid to revitalise key zones across the city.

First cab off the rank is Royal Street in East Perth, with the 12-month trial to be instituted “immediately”, followed by the “high streets” in Claisebrook and West Perth.

The City of Perth’s commissioners unanimously made the decision on Tuesday night while approving the preliminary budget.

Commissioner Andrew Hammond said the move was a step towards “changing the financial DNA” of the city.

“For too long, our parking revenue has been the tail that wags the dog for the city,” he said.

“Our reliance on parking for revenue needs to stop.”

The lower income from street parking – through both ticket machine revenue and infringements – will be offset by adjustments in this year’s budget.

Both commissioners agreed Royal Street was top priority.

“Blind Freddy can see when you walk along Royal Street there’s not much happening, so anything we can do to make it better is really important,” Mr Hammond said.

Deputy chair commissioner Gaye McMath said the next locations would be guided by city officers, with priority spots guided by commercial vacancy rates.

“We have looked at other local councils and some of their areas where you can see the behaviour of people coming in,” she said.

“We’ve seen the impact that’s had on Subiaco, Victoria Park and Vincent, so we’re confident we’ll be able to identify appropriate areas.”

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