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Fine free CBD

Wednesday, 23rd April, 2014

By Erica Visser

Business owners in Argent Street say they haven’t seen a City Council parking inspector for months, and drivers are taking advantage of the absence.

A Council ranger usually carries out parking inspections but five Argent Street business owners told the BDT no one had carried out inspections since one particular ranger stopped working for Council months ago.

“There hasn’t been anyone come by to check on parking since then, it used to be that as soon as he walked down the street, my phone rang,” said owner of Town’N’Country Bicycles, Rick Cooper.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous ... to say it’s a problem would be an understatement.”

Mr Cooper said that “news spread quickly” when a ranger was inspecting parks in Argent Street, but staff at businesses knew no one had been enforcing two-hour parking rules.

“Every day they park in front of your shop, all day,” Mr Cooper said.

“Now there’s no parking in the main street left for customers.

“If they’re out to ruin Argent Street, they’re going the wrong way about it.”

Another CBD business owner, who wished to remain unnamed, said that she saw the same cars using two hour parking spaces from 8am until closing time.

“You see the same cars using the parks and the same cars doing laps trying to get a park,” she said.

“Everyone knows there’s nobody checking on them so the staff don’t care. They know there’s no risk to parking there all day.”

A third trader suggested that Council needed to come up with a solution.

“Perhaps they should install parking meters, or designate a nearby vacant block for staff parking.”

Mr Cooper, whose shop is located in the same block as the Regional Art Gallery, said that the introduction of private two hour parking at the tourist site had added to the problem. 

The carpark was once full, but since the changes to the parking it is often bare.

“I know people from a lot of businesses that parked there’ Torpy’s, the bank, Alfresco’s,” he said.

“Now they can’t park there but they know no one will check up on them if they park in the mainstreet.

“I keep tabs on the carpark, since the two hour parking came in, there’s been a maximum of four cars parked there.

“It’s a combination of problems.”

Council Group Manager Sustainability Peter Oldsen said that in recent weeks, the ranger had been too busy with “other duties”.

“Council has been carrying out periodic parking inspections when time has allowed,” Mr Oldsen said.

“Presently the ranger has been occupied with other duties, but the inspection program is expected to intensify over the coming weeks.”

Another Council spokesman said that the art gallery parking was being reviewed.

“The issue of the two hour limits for parking in the art gallery car park has been referred back to the Traffic Committee for further consideration,” he said.

“Council is currently collecting data that will help inform the members of the Traffic Committee in their further deliberations on the matter.

“We are also encouraging tourists to the Broken Hill Regional Art gallery to utilise the designated parking space next to the gallery.

“To do this Council will be installing signage directing them to the Art Gallery car park so that parking spaces are freed up in Argent Street.”

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