Christmas goodwill parks itself at Lismore Council

LISMORE Council is considering making all parking in the CBD two hours as part of a Christmas promotion to encourage residents to shop in town.

The idea was floated by Cr Neil Marks at a workshop on Tuesday during a discussion on parking zones and times.

"I think it would be a good idea to be generous to the people of Lismore so they can go parking and shopping in the CBD without worrying about getting a ticket," he said.

City Centre manager Renee Moehead was asked what feedback she was getting from CBD businesses and she said the most common complaint was that one hour was not enough.

Mayor Jenny Dowell said many women had told her they needed three hours to get their hair done. Cr Greg Bennett argued that all one hour areas should revert back to two hours until they had carried out a review of parking in the CBD.

Council's manager of development and compliance, Peter Jeuken said any review should be based on evidence, not on assumptions.

"If we have a better understanding of the uses, we will have a better understanding of the supply we can provide," he said.

He said the current parking strategy was based on a study done in 2007 that found the average stay was 30-35 minutes.

Cr Simon Clough and Mayor Jenny Dowell both commented that they never have a problem getting a park in the CBD.

"But there is a perception there is a problem and sometimes that becomes the reality," Mayor Dowell said.

Mr Jeuken said the new licence plate recognition technology was having an impact on behaviour and people were moving cars more regularly because they were more likely to get caught if they overstayed.

The council is considering a review that would include a survey of parking usage and consultation with business owners and shoppers. Mr Jeuken estimated the whole process would cost in the vicinity of $20,000 which is currently not in the budget.

A motion about the review and the Christmas shopping promotion will go before the council next month.

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