Temporary free parking extension hailed a success in shopping precinct

The Riseley Centre.
The Riseley Centre.

A TEMPORARY move to extend free parking at the Riseley Centre in Applecross to three hours has been hailed a success and it looks like it will become permanent.

The City of Melville’s decision to introduce paid parking, with the first hour free, in July 2019 was met with anger from business owners.

The City extended the free parking time temporarily in November after four petitions were submitted to council.

The results have shown an increase in the number of people visiting the area with 6686 tickets issued in the three-week period from September 30 to October 19 under the old system compared to 7616 tickets issued from November 11 to 30 under the three-hour system.

Ticket income in the same period fell rapidly though, from $5376 in the September to October period to $2559 in the November period.

City officers have recommended the three-hour free parking time be permanently instated for the all-day price of parking at the carparks on Willcock and Simpson Streets, on the fringes of the centre, to be slashed from $8.50 to $4.25.

The reasoning behind the dramatic price cut is because the City has observed high vacancies in those carparks.

At the City’s February 4 briefing session, 777 Applecross pharmacist Nigel Krummel and Shendals hairdresser owner Kendal De Graaf told council they agreed the trial had been a success but suggested improvements were needed with the machines and more signage was needed to alert customers about the parking situation.

They called for the City to help with staff parking, with ideas such as permits and free codes being made available via ticket machines being floated.

City officers have pointed to the issue of giving businesses permits, given the number of workers in the area.

The council only operates about 30 per cent of the bays in the centre and there are moves to standardise parking in the privately-owned bays as well.