Council ponders paid parking plan

The Town’s Business Life Director Nathan Cain provided the information at last Tuesday’s briefing session to councillors who will tonight decide whether to go ahead with the review or even make some immediate changes to paid parking following community concern it is hurting local business.

The Parking Management Committee has recommended councillors allow the chief executive to engage a consultant to review the 15-minute discount parking period, the two-hour parking restriction and if motorists should have to pay for parking up until midnight in some areas.

A report from the review could be provided to council within two months but may not be actioned until late May or early June.

Cr John Bissett gave notice he will introduce a motion at tonight’s meeting to make some immediate changes, including increasing the free parking period on Albany Highway side streets to 30 minutes and cutting off paid parking at 8pm. It remains to be seen if this will garner the support of other councillors.

Mr Cain said the highway was still demonstrating congestion at 9pm and if free parking was increased to 30 minutes it would reduce income from the recently installed parking meters by about 40 per cent.

He said three or four weeks of collecting data from the new meters was not enough time to gather sufficient information to make an informed decision on what changes should be made.