Council will seek community feedback on proposed parking management strategy for Ipswich

Ipswich City Council will seek community feedback on a new parking management strategy for the CBD.

A report presented to the Growth and Infrastructure Committee this week outlined the development of the City of Ipswich Parking Pricing Strategy, a key part of iGO – Ipswich’s Transport Plan.

“The strategy has been prepared to provide guidance for decision-making on parking management in the City of Ipswich, including the management of time restrictions and priced parking,” said General Manager of Infrastructure and Environment Charlie Dill.

The report said parking is one of the biggest challenges facing local governments, including Ipswich, given the impacts of population growth, increased traffic and congestion, and the associated demands on transport infrastructure (including parking) can often require significant attention, resources and investment.

“Council provides more than 3,500 parking spaces in the Ipswich City Centre, which includes both on-street and off-street spaces. Of these parking spaces, approximately 710 spaces are subject to priced parking while the remaining are either unrestricted or managed using time restrictions.

“In the past, priced parking areas have been established on an ad-hoc basis in response to high parking demands and in isolation of an overarching policy. Council’s review of priced parking in the past has been sporadic, mostly limited to simple increases based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“The strategy provides a framework for priced parking, allowing council to respond to different parking contexts in a systematic and consistent manner.”

It will also look at the implementation of priced parking and management of time restrictions at Springfield Town Centre and other activity centres experiencing parking pressures.

Mr Dill said the strategy identifies seven overarching recommendations that will assist council to manage parking much more strategically with the focus of ensuring there is a balance between the expected population growth and parking demands across the city well into the future.

They are:
• Adopt the City of Ipswich Parking Management Framework
• Fee structures
• Price adjustments to parking
• Parking revenue distribution
• Periodically review data
• Enforcement
• Parking technology

Interim Administrator Greg Chemello said the report was a very good professional and technical analysis of the various car parking challenges the city is facing. However, he believes this technical work needs to be considered by council in the context of gaining a better understanding to the community’s views through public engagement.

“One of the most commonly issues raised with me by the community is car parking, in particular in and around Ipswich Central” he said.

Mr Chemello said the opportunity for community and stakeholder feedback would enable people to “air their views on a sensitive issue” and would be a suitable yardstick or counterpoint for the technical studies.

He said the best decisions of council tend to be made on the basis of a combined sound understanding of the technical and community perspectives.

Council is aiming to commence the public engagement process in December and will provide further advice on how to provide feedback. Check out Shape Your Ipswich, council’s community engagement online platform.

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  1. More underground off street parking might help the CBD. Charging for parking will continue to send customers to free parking shopping centres.

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