Byron Bay’s controversial parking meters are allowing people pay for more than the maximum time limit, resulting in people who think they have parked legally later discovering they’ve copped a hefty fine.
Byron Greens councillor Duncan Dey has recently received a complaint from a tourist family from New Caledonia who had a very expensive lunch in the Bay: it cost them $212 on top of their meal.
One member of the family told Cr Dey, they parked two cars on Jonson Street, not far from Margarita restaurant where they were having lunch.
The area is signposted as a one-hour zone.
The family say they didn’t see the sign but had no problems feeding the meter for two hours and printing the ticket, which they left inside each of their cars.
In a letter to Cr Dey the man said that he and his son were ‘both fined during our lunch ($106 penalty for each car)’.
He added that the parking warden, who was still in the street, ‘explained to us that we had to move our cars every hour, even with a ticket.’
‘I am very surprised no warning was displayed on the meter when I paid for more than one hour,’ he said.
‘On the Gold coast, the meters [don’t work] any more if you go further than the limited time and you can’t print your ticket.’
The man said his family have visited Byron very often since 1990.
‘We love this place – last Sunday, we spent more than $1,000 on shopping and restaurants in your city.
‘It’s the first time that we have had such a bad experience,’ the man wrote.
Cr Dey said he had asked for the registration numbers of the two cars so that he could follow up the issue further with council staff.
‘I’m concerned that you were able to pay for more than one hour in a one-hour parking zone,’ he told the man.
He added that printing of tickets in Byron Bay was optional.
Byron Shire Council has been approached for comment.