Parking trial starts in Port's CBD

CHANGED parking time limits apply just in time for Christmas. The two-hour parking trial begins today in sections of the Port Macquarie CBD.

It comes after Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce and businesses raised concerns with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

Some operators felt one-hour sensor monitored parking hurt their businesses. Parking spots changed from one hour to two hours are in Hay Street from Sunset Parade to Clarence Street; Clarence Street from Short Street to Horton Street; Short Street from Clarence Street to Barracks Lane; and Horton Street from Hayward and William streets.

That gives motorists parked in those areas more time to browse shops in the CBD.

MAYOR Peter Besseling said parking sensors made people more aware of the parking time limits. But there have been no time limit changes - until now.

“It’s important to understand this is a trial, the results of which will be monitored and go into the mix for the broader parking strategy,” Cr Besseling said.

“The trial seems to be very well received but it’s important to get that feedback through the period of the trial and to make sure it’s considered in the broader scheme of things.”

Residents and visitors are encouraged to share their parking experiences on the council’s community engagement portal

Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce executive officer Lisa McPherson said the chamber made it a priority to liaise with the council on the issue and she welcomed the trial.

“We hope it will ease parking concerns from the business community,” she said.

“The chamber agrees it needs to be an ongoing review process and looks forward to finding solutions that meet the needs of our community.

“The solution needs to take into account the needs of businesses, residents and visitors.”

Council rangers will monitor parking flow during the peak holiday period.

The sensors and the community will be information sources too.

Cr Besseling said data from the trial would assist in council’s overall review of the parking strategy by providing real time data on turnover, occupancy rate and business implications.

The council will weigh up the trial as part of the overall parking strategy review within the next six months.

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