Call for more all-day parking
By JENI FAULKNER
AT one time or another we've had one and, all too often, we haven't been happy about our 'present' on the windscreen.
Parking fines are everyone's worst nightmare. They catch you at the weakest moments and bank up quickly, meaning a nasty debt or huge hole in the hip pocket.
Lynne Parnell works in the city centre and she says car parks and parking limits around the city are a disgrace.
Ms Parnell has received her fair share of parking fines for over staying her welcome in Elbow Street but she argues there is no where else to park and many of her co-workers face the same problem.
"Time limits are definitely an issue, especially at the Elbow Street car park. Users are mostly workers and constantly you see people swapping and moving their cars during their lunch hour. It is ridiculous," Ms Parnell said.
"At one time I received two fines in two months and I forgot to pay one which meant the fine increased."
Stories like this led Councillor Bill Palmer to raise the issue of all-day parking spaces at the Coffs Harbour City Council meeting this week.
Although there is no immediate change on the drawing board,
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Cr Palmer is hoping some restrictions could soon be lifted, especially those in council car parks which he believes are used predominately by business people.
"The issues of restricted parking were brought to my attention after business people complained to me about parking fines in the Elbow Street car park," Cr Palmer said.
"I don't believe many shoppers use this car park, it is mainly business people and council recently approved a medical centre in Moonee Street also so the situation could soon become worse."
Cr Palmer said this latest development, which was approved by council a month ago, would provide a contribution to parking but there would be no extra spaces allocated.
"I think the sensible thing is to provide all-day parking in Elbow Street because, even now, it is not often you can get a park."
Acting director of city services with Coffs Harbour City Council, Geoff Newton, said letters of complaint regarding parking restrictions, especially in Elbow Street, were frequent, and mostly from CBD workers.
"Council car parks should be used predominantly by shoppers and, generally, staff should use street car parks," Mr Newton said.
Admitting some street car parks were restricted, Mr Newton said the CBD Parking Committee would be conducting a study over the next six months to look at how restrictions could change.
The CBD Parking Committee is looking at future planning for the business precinct and for future business growth, taking a scientific approached to changing car parking. In the meantime, the options appear to be playing musical car spaces or copping a fine for overstaying your time.