Changes to CBD metered parking a win for residents and businesses

A 15-minute free parking ‘grace’ period and the removal of timed and priced parking in Ipswich’s CBD on Saturdays will remain after a successful six-month trial of the changes.

Mayor Teresa Harding said Ipswich City Council is committed to boosting economic activity in the city centre.

“Our 10,000 registered businesses are the lifeblood of the Ipswich community, providing wonderful experiences, goods and services, and jobs for residents,” Mayor Harding Said.

“These parking changes are designed to give more people the opportunity to visit the CBD at a lower price, with secondary benefits for the broader city economy.”

In October 2020, Ipswich City Council embarked on a six-month trial of the two parking changes in the Ipswich City Centre.

Parking occupancy surveys were carried out before the trial started and five months into the trial to assess the effectiveness of the changes. Survey results revealed:

  • Parking occupancy in the CBD core precinct more than doubled in the five months from September 2020 to February 2021;
  • Considerably more vehicles occupied parking bays for 15 minutes or less in February 2021 than were in September 2020;
  • Saturday free parking increased longer stay parking within the Top of Town and CBD core precincts, however ample parking supply remained available.

On average, the 15-minute free parking ‘grace’ period was used 1,000 times per month during the six-month trial.

Furthermore, as a result of the changes to the Saturday time and pay restrictions, data reveals there was a general increase of parking activity in the Ipswich City Centre.

Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said the changes would help businesses as they continued to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A common complaint we hear about parking in our CBD is from people who have to pay for a brief stop in the city centre,” Cr Doyle said.

“These changes allow people who need to quickly drop in at a local business to do so without needing to pay for parking.

“We want our CBD to be a hive of activity throughout the week and across the weekend.

“We hope the removal of timed and priced parking on Saturdays encourages people to spend more time in the CBD on weekends – for breakfast, lunch, or a spot of shopping.

“We encourage people to make use of the free Saturday parking and help support local businesses.”

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