STIRLING residents face higher parking fines and fewer free bays after the council rubber-stamped a new policy Tuesday night.
The update of six-year-old parking laws sees many $60 parking penalties increased to $80, including failure to pay at a metered bay and parking when a meter has expired.
The penalty for parking in a clearway will nearly double from $80 to $150 and the council has closed a loophole that allowed residents to park on verges opposite their own property.
The council voted to expand the amount of paid parking at “high demand locations” across the municipality, including Herdsman Business Park within Walters Drive, Hasler and Parkland Roads, and around Glendalough rail station.
“It is likely that paid parking will expand into other similar locations,”city staff advised.
Public consultation yielded just one response, relating to the removal of abandoned vehicles.
Mayor Giovanni Italiano insists the changes are designed to encourage public transport and are not about revenue-raising.
“The benefit to ratepayers is that the expansion and maintenance of parking facilities will be funded from the proceeds of paid parking, rather than by ratepayers,” he says.
“This is important as surveys of the city’s parking facilities have indicated that 70 per cent of users are not Stirling ratepayers.”
Council manager Laurie Crouch says more paid parking spaces will ease driver frustration.
“Longer trip times and traffic congestion, looking for a bay, add to drivers’ frustrations,” she says.
The council has budgeted $5.8 million to come from the anticipated increase of paid parking at the Herdsman and Glendalough areas.
Councillors voted to amend the policy to allow one hour free parking at the Cedric Street business centre and issue permits to Glendalough residents.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK