Businesses divided over parking plan

City of Swan has installed the machines along parts of Old Great Northern Highway, Stafford Street, The Crescent, Keane Street and Helena Street.

The parking rate will be free for the first half hour, then $2 for every hour thereafter.

Parking bays in the streets proposed for the paid parking plan currently have a one-hour limit but customers will be able to stay longer under the new payment scheme.

Shop owners are divided in their opinions.

Some say the area�s traffic is not busy enough to warrant paid parking and the focus needs to be on stopping all-day parkers.

But Slater-Gartrell Sports owner Mike Wilkie said he welcomed the plan as is.

�It�s free parking for the first 30 minutes and, in my opinion, if they want to stay longer then they should have to pay,� he said.

�There are obviously different points of view but for our market, people are generally in and out within half an hour.�

Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the idea was to move long-term parkers to the correct areas.

�The focus isn�t on revenue, it is on short-term stay to generate business activity and assist local businesses in continued patronage by pushing long-term parkers into the appropriate parking areas,� he said.

�The intention of pay-for-use parking is to increase the turnover of bays and increase the availability of short-term convenient parking for shoppers, while encouraging long-term parking in more appropriate car park locations.�

Midland MP Michelle Roberts is urging business owners to sign a petition for the ticket machines to offer one- or two-hour free parking.