Scarborough Beach parking proving costly for drivers

Phillip Bolan (Kingsley) with his parking ticket. Photo: Martin Kennealey
Phillip Bolan (Kingsley) with his parking ticket. Photo: Martin Kennealey

THE City of Stirling is installing barriers at Scarborough foreshore in a bid to curb parking problems.

Temporary barriers appeared along The Esplanade last week, which will soon be replaced by permanent bollards.

The changes came after Kingsley resident Phillip Bolan contacted the City about a fine he recently received on his first visit to the beach since the redevelopment.

Mr Bolan parked on a paved area the same level as the road, which he mistakenly believed was valid because he saw no signs and other cars were parked there.

He wanted the City to educate drivers rather than issue infringements.

“It smacks of a council happily collecting revenue…but at the same time doing it at the cost of a few signs,” he said.

Mr Bolan was glad the City has since installed temporary additional signage and barriers but believed previously penalised drivers should have their fines refunded.

The City has issued more than 900 infringements across Scarborough since the redevelopment opened, including 213 during June and 113 in July.

The temporary barriers and signage installed at Scarborough foreshore.

Acting community development director Laurie Crouch said despite signage in place, cars continued to be parked on paths but officers tried to educate drivers by issuing cautions instead of fines over the past four weeks.

Melissa Kovacs, who works at a beachfront café, has also been fined and wants the City to address parking options for workers.

She said all day parking was usually full so she and colleagues had to park in areas with time restrictions and move their cars during work.

“If it’s busy we can’t leave work to move our cars,” she said.

“They just need to make a provision…that there is a level of paid parking for staff, people who work down there.”

Mrs Kovacs picks her daughter up from school so is unable to catch a bus to work, but said she would happily pay a small fee for staff parking.

She believed parking at the foreshore showed a “lack of foresight”.

“I know it has made people think twice about going down there,’ she said.

But nearby resident Enrico Pennacini said it was rare for bays to be scarce at the beach.

“In most instances all that is required is a one-minute walk between attempting to find parking and easy parking a couple of hundred metres away from the beachfront,” he said.

Residents and local businesses were able to contribute to a parking consultation survey last November and 1200 bays were available, including all day parking bays at Manning Street ($5), Reserve Street and Rendezvous Hotel’s basement.

“One of the aims of the Scarborough Beach redevelopment is to achieve a pedestrian friendly environment with emphasis on walking, cycling and public transport,” Mr Crouch said.

Mr Bolan also raised concerns about cobblestone sections of road that some pedestrians and drivers assumed was a crosswalk.

“I witnessed several drivers who stopped to allow pedestrians to cross on these areas, only to be verbally abused by another driver who considered that vehicles had the right of way over pedestrians wishing to cross the road,” he said.

“With summer just around the corner and thus a massive increase in the use of the Scarborough beachfront, these sort of issues need urgent attention by the City.”

Infrastructure director Michael Littleton said the cobblestone pavers were an “integral part of the visual and physical constraints to reinforce the 30 km/h low speed environment” and were not supposed to present as a crosswalk.