Home News (Not?) Smarter Parking in Ballarat – Opinion Piece

(Not?) Smarter Parking in Ballarat – Opinion Piece

The honeymoon is well and truly over for those choosing to park in Ballarat’s CBD, with the luxury of free parking over the Christmas period now just a distant memory, as many struggle with the new Smart Meters in the first week of installation.
I witnessed groups of perplexed and angry people gathered around the new smart meters in Doveton St S, this week, trying to work out not only how to operate the meters but also how and when to pay.

Most of these were elderly people and while there was some instruction from people wearing Smart Meter shirts, I think it was too much for some motorists to absorb.

I think council has lost quite a bit of integrity, with ratepayers, ever since they floated the idea of parking changes.

The majority of CBD workers, hospital staff and shoppers all feel hard done by.

And with meters installed at the Coles and Woolworths car park in the city, I’m guessing those owning businesses in Stockland, Lucas and Delacombe Town Centre are more than happy.

Another nail in the coffin for CBD business owners?

Council website contains the following information:
The new parking meters will be a mix of credit card and coin, with the added ability to pay via the CellOPark smartphone app.
• You will pay only for the time you actually park for
• You will get one hour free, per vehicle, per day
• There are no more paper tickets
• No more having to go back to your car – you can top up at any meter
• The phone app is free to download, simply search your app store for CellOPark
• You don’t need to have a smartphone. You can still pay with coins or card
• You can park anywhere in the CBD, and move between carparks, within the time period you have paid for

To use the meters:
• Enter your registration number at the first meter you find
• If you are going to be less than an hour, you won’t have to pay. But you must still enter your registration into the meter
• If you are going to be more than an hour, pay for the time you plan to park. You will only be charged after your first hour of free parking
• Either way you can move your car between different carparks

If you don’t have coins or a credit card, you can pay for parking with the CellOPark app.
You still need to enter your registration even if you are parked for less than an hour so it is known when your free hour started.
If you don’t register with either a meter or a smartphone app you are liable for a parking fine.

If you move from one park to another you are not required to re-enter your registration as all meters are connected.
The first hour of parking is free and then it will be $3 an hour after that.
If you park in on-street carpark from 9am until 5.30pm, it will cost a maximum of $22.50. However you can choose to park in an off-street carpark for $6.50 per day.

Disabled parking will remain exactly the same as it currently operates, with permits still to be displayed on dashboards. Blue permit holders will be able to park all day for free, green permit holders will get double the time they pay for. Blue permit holders will NOT have to input their registration number into the meters.

Instruction came from those in the know but many were left to struggle on, on their own.