Smarter Parking will return to Ballarat’s CBD streets on Tuesday 9 June.
Parking meters will switch back on to ensure shoppers, workers, residents and people needing the hospital precinct can all access car parks when needed.
But remember, you receive one hour of free parking every day under the Smarter Parking system.
Free parking across the City was temporarily introduced in March when Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions were announced.
However, easing of restrictions has seen substantial traffic return, with businesses, residents and people using the hospital precinct concerned at the number of people parking all day for free in front of shops, houses and medical facilities.
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said increasing CBD activity had prompted businesses, residents and people using the hospital precinct to ask for a return to the paid parking network.
“Our parking data shows that there were only six per cent of parks available in the CBD in a one-hour period on Wednesday and only between nine and ten per cent of car parks were free in the hospital precinct,” Cr Taylor said.
“Currently people are parking all day and there are no parks for shoppers, residents or people needing the hospital precinct.
“We need to ensure fair access to the CBD and hospital precinct car parks for everyone.
“Businesses, residents and people needing the hospital precinct are telling us they want the parking meters to return to ensure enough turnover to make sure there is car park access for all.”
Cr Taylor said the 10-minute car parks introduced as part of the temporary free parking system would also remain for the next three months.
“Most people understand we need a new parking system to ensure fair access to car parks for all.
“It was appropriate at the start of the lockdown period to introduce temporary free parking but now our businesses, our residents, and people needing the hospital precinct are telling us they want a return to paid parking.”
Ed note: It will be interesting to see whether paid parks are taken up by shoppers or will they return to free parking at Delacombe Town Centre and Stockland.