Byron Council looks set to re-introduce two-hour paid parking on a section of southern Jonson Street in a bid to address parking issues created by the Mercato shopping mall.
For over a year, businesses at and around 120 Jonson Street have suffered because the all-day and four-hour paid parking spaces outside their premises have been filled for long periods by locals working at or visiting Mercato.
Parking inside Mercato is expensive and there is no provisions for free parking for people who work there. ‘Because locals with a permit can park [on Jonsons St] free, people working at Mercato just park there all day,’ the owner of the Drifters and Dreamers clothing store, Verity Wilson, said.
‘For a small business like ours it has a really big impact. You need people to be able to park near the store and we basically haven’t had that from the moment Mercato opened.’
The parking spaces used to have a two-hour limit but this was quietly changed shortly before Mercato opened. After nearly a year of persistent but polite requests from Ms Wilson and other business owners, Council staff have now proposed to change 12 spaces along Jonson Street back two hours to assist the small-business owners.
The proposal was due to come before this Tuesday’s local traffic committee meeting.
‘If the all-day parking in front of 120 Jonson St is changed to 2P it is recommended changing all on street parking to 2P, extending from 120 Jonson Street through to and including the 2 x 4P spaces in front of Mercato,’ Council staff said in a report on the matter.
‘This amounts to 12 parking spaces being converted to 2P paid parking.’
Ms Wilson cautiously welcomed the move.
‘There has been a lot of effort to get it to this point – many phone calls and emails.’
‘I’m grateful that Council is now looking to take action.’