Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Southern Grampians calls time on 204 parking meters

Southern Grampians Shire Council has endorsed the removal and replacement of 204 pay-by-space parking meters across the Hamilton CBD.

The installation of new ‘next generation’ parking meters will enable cashless, pay-by-plate, contactless and ticketless machines.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Bruach Colliton said the replacement of the coin-operated parking metres will assist Council to gauge activity and encourage traffic flow within the CBD.

“We acknowledge that currently there is a real inconsistency across Hamilton in relation to operational parking meters which ultimately creates confusion amongst drivers,” said Mayor Colliton.

“Replacing the old coin operated meters with next generation technology, will provide consistency and will help keep traffic moving around the CBD. We know historically there has been issues with people parking in front of shops for extended periods which in turn prevents other shoppers from accessing those parking locations.

“Completed traffic engineering studies have shown us that paid parking is effective and efficient in managing those priority parking spaces within the CBD to enable movement of shoppers, ultimately increasing foot traffic to our local businesses.”

In 2020, Council adopted the Hamilton CBD Masterplan which discussed the broader future of parking meters in the CBD. This strategic document recommended Council keep paid parking, but upgrade to new parking meters with additional payment and enforcement technology.

Council says its ability to repair current defective meters is hampered by ageing technology, availability of spare parts and resources to repair infrastructure. It says the next generation parking meters will offer a higher level of functionality to reduce operational costs.

“The COVID experience has provided us with key data that shows shoppers are now carrying less coins which has also contributed to Council’s decision to provide a cashless parking meter option. The new meters will also be powered by solar, eliminating the need for mains power connectivity and providing a more cost effective and sustainable option,” said Mayor Colliton.

“This is the first step in Council moving towards the renewal of Hamilton CBD and will make a significant improvement to the aesthetics and functionality for residents and tourists.”

The new parking meters are expected to be introduced over the next 12 months.

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