Free off-street parking will be made available in two locations within the Shepparton CBD following the Ordinary Council Meeting held Tuesday evening. Greater Shepparton City Council resolved to implement free all day off-street parking at the Nixon/Maude and Edward Street parking bays only, with the new parking regime commencing Friday 22 December 2017.
The paid and time restricted parking regime will continue for on-street areas across the CBD, with Council continuing to pursue further technology options to ensure ease of payment of fee.
“There are many factors which went into Council’s decision, and it isn’t as simple as deciding between free or paid parking” said Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe.
“Council evaluated factors including the level of evidence that free parking would truly be an incentive to attract shoppers into the CBD, costly measures needed to determine the outcomes of any trial, and considered all factors within our current rate capping environment. Ultimately, the financial cost of implementing a trial or free parking is just not viable, and in the end is not the only answer to revitalise the CBD.
“The Maude Street Mall revitalisation project is ticking along nicely, with recent community consultation identifying further ideas and opportunities for the future of the Mall. I’m positive that some great outcomes will be implemented in this space.
“Factors driving Council’s decision also includes the income stream generated from paid and time restricted parking in on-street areas of the CBD. This income stream will continue to fund maintenance and improvement works to the CBD. Previous projects completed from paid parking funds include CBD Wi-Fi and the new Fraser Street all abilities toilets and upgrade works. Paid parking fee income also supports the all-important school crossing program for school children across Greater Shepparton.
“In turning Nixon/Maude and Edward Street parking bays into free all-day parking, this will allow workers within the CBD to park their car all day, freeing up on-street bays for shoppers”, suggests Mayor O’Keeffe. “This will ensure there is a healthy turnover of cars and minimise congestion within the central areas of the CBD.”
A key part of the resolution included Council continuing to pursue contemporary technology options for residents and visitors to have a much more convenient method to pay for parking tickets. “Some of the feedback Council received from shoppers regarding paying for parking was the inconvenience of carrying coins to feed the meter, so the pursue of technology will make an immense difference to users’ convenience,” said Cr O’Keeffe. This new technology would also allow Council to capture real time data of genuine stay times.
“The adopted motion will continue with a user-pays system, while adhering to the needs and best interest of private car park owners within the CBD and their plans for redevelopment. It is imperative that we all work together as one community, moving forward to strive for the best outcomes for our municipality,” said Cr O’Keeffe.
The free all day off-street parking at the Nixon/Maude and Edward Street parking bays commences on Friday 22 December.