Blue Mountains News
Have Your Say on Draft Parking Plans in Tourism Precincts
Parking precinct plans are detailed parking studies for specific locations to address issues with parking demand, and the availability of parking spaces.
“The aim of a parking precinct plan is to improve the balance between resident, visitor, and business parking needs and to shift the cost burden of visitor infrastructure away from residents”, said Council’s spokeswoman.
The development of parking precinct plans and paid parking is one of the actions in the Visitor Infrastructure Investment Strategic Plan adopted by the Council in March 2018. That plan looks at ways to fund visitor infrastructure, visitor services and city presentation.
Draft parking plans have been developed for four precincts – Echo Point, Wentworth Falls Lookout, Conservation Hut in Wentworth Falls, and Blackheath town centre. These locations were identified in the Citywide Parking Strategic Plan as high priority locations because they experience high levels of visitation throughout the year. Parking precinct plans will be developed for other high priority locations in the coming years.
“The guiding principle of both the visitor infrastructure strategic plan and parking precinct plan is one of equity”, she said. “For example, the selective use of paid parking in areas with high tourist numbers is a reasonable approach to increasing revenue to pay for visitor infrastructure and services. It is common practice internationally”, she said
The plans cater for residents and businesses that reside within the parking precincts. The parking permit scheme proposes some changes to the current arrangements but is designed to balance the needs of residents and businesses with the need for Council to be compliant with current legislation and standards, as well as achieve industry best practice.
“Despite the Blue Mountains being one of the most visited tourist destinations in Australia, Council recovers a relatively small amount of revenue from visitors”, said Council. “The proposed parking precinct plans means we can shift the cost burden away from rate payers who currently subsidise visitor infrastructure.”
The community is invited and encouraged to view the draft plans and provide feedback. The draft documents are on exhibition and submissions received from 4 March to 15 April 2019. You can access the draft documents and a submission form on Council’s Have Your Say website and hard copies will be available at Council Libraries and Council’s Springwood and Katoomba offices.
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