Business owners campaign for paid parking restrictions to be relaxed

A near-empty Wilcock Street on a weekday afternoon.
A near-empty Wilcock Street on a weekday afternoon.

RISELEY Centre businesses want nearby paid parking restrictions relaxed or permits given to staff amidst mounting fears that parking meters are keeping customers away.

Shop owners have rallied 850 people to sign a petition to increase free time from one to three hours, while a second petition signed by more than 170 people calls for staff parking permits.

Pharmacy 777 Applecross naturopath Paula Dennis said the petitions followed concerns from customers and workers.

“We ask ourselves why parking has been introduced here when it’s free at Garden City and Ardross Street,” he said.

The City of Melville changed parking arrangements for the bays it controls on Kearns Crescent, Simpson Street and Wilcock Street in July, a move chief executive Marten Tieleman reinforced yesterday as necessary.

“Paid parking becomes necessary where other management techniques are not sufficient to manage parking demand and a lot of the existing City-provided car parking in the centre was found to be occupied all day by the staff of local businesses and commuters connecting to public transport on Canning Highway,” he said.

He said the council’s parking rules only affected about 30 per cent of the local bays and that businesses should work together to best use their private parking spaces for customers or staff.

Melting Pot owner Jupiter Sallim said he understood the need for paid parking but the free time should be increased.

“If someone eats at our restaurant then they will probably also go to Gelare, do some banking or go to the post office and two hours is about right,” he said.

“Anything less then people feel rushed to eat.

“I’ve noticed that it has been quieter. I think people drive here, see there are parking meters and then drive off.”

Learning Bee owner Wendy Koh said families visiting her business would usually visit other shops but the restrictions mean they would be less likely to stay in the area.

“We have got 12 female staff and they are being asked to park away from the centre at places like Shirley Strickland Reserve. When they finish at night it feels a bit dangerous for them to walk back there,” she said.

“It would be great if the council could give us two or three staff parking permits.”

Mr Tieleman said half of the parking revenue raised would be used to fund beautification and improvement projects.