Once again, the Greater Shepparton City Council appears to have embroiled itself in controversy regarding the ongoing issue of car parking.
Following several week’s advertising on the Adviser front page, the Council promoted its decision to make off-street Council parking free, with timed limits. This was welcomed by most people following around six months of non-decision after the Council’s own survey about the Christmas free parking trial.
As of (at least) the week commencing July 6th, the parking in the Fraser Street area was designated as “free parking” with the lone parking meter disabled and bearing a sticker designating the area as free parking. Last week, however, the Council appears to have back-flipped on this decision, and a new meter has been installed and metered parking has been re-introduced.
This has caused mass confusion amongst people parking in the area. A quick check of cars revealed that there was rough mix of half of the vehicles without a ticket, with the rest having purchased a ticket. Confusion reigned amongst new parkers who didn’t know which instruction to follow.
Fraser Street doesn’t go anywhere, being blocked off before the Mall. It is logically used as a parking area for people looking to shop in the CBD area, and we are some of those people. Free parking has continuously been identified by shop-owners and customers alike as the single most useful tool to rejuvenate the dying CBD area. This latest back-flip is yet another example that the Council’s priorities lie with a money grab, rather that the welfare of the Shepparton district retail sector and its customers.