Free parking in Bunbury CBD on agenda

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury City Council is expected to endorse sweeping changes to its CBD parking strategy.
Camera IconBunbury City Council is expected to endorse sweeping changes to its CBD parking strategy. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

Parking in the CBD is expected to undergo sweeping changes next week as Bunbury City Council prepares to bring in one hour free on-street parking and free parking on weekends.

In a bid to continue efforts to revitalise the CBD and in response to last month’s results of the CBD Experience Survey, the council reviewed its parking strategy and is expected to make several changes.

The hotly-discussed issue sparked debate at the council’s briefing session last night when a nearly full chamber of Bunbury business owners watched on.

The changes recommended to the council also include visitor shopper carparks across the city being increased to three-hour time limits, no time limits and parking tickets on weekends and the introduction of the PayStay smartphone app for on-street parking.

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The issue has divided Bunbury businesses with some owners still calling on the free parking to be increased to two hours.

The changes have been estimated to cost the council $737,000 worth of revenue – without including any parking fines – usually used on maintenance of the city’s carparks.

The changes would be trialled until September next year when a report assessing the effects will be presented.

Next week the council will vote on allocating more than $150,000 to implement the changes, develop a marketing strategy and improve signage.

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