Free car parking pushed


Open it up: Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke has called on council to consider making car parking free in the CBD. Pic: Gary Sissons

FREE all-day parking in central Frankston is being pushed as a way to encourage shoppers to support local traders and businesses.

Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke launched a ‘Free parking for Frankston’ petition this month calling on Frankston Council to make car parking free in “our CBD [central business district].”

The state government surprisingly decided in August 2015 that a multi-deck carpark at a redeveloped Frankston train station is not needed.

It was decided to instead consider a partnership with Bayside Shopping Centre to lease unused short term parking spaces for train commuters.

“The state government and Bayside [Shopping Centre]’s temporary free two hour parking trial has been extremely successful in bringing customers back to our CBD, bringing to light the fact that council parking fees are a major obstacle for business in the CBD,” Mr Edbrooke stated in the petition.

“Long term hardship experienced by traders can be attributed to Frankston Council’s parking fees driving customers away. Incredibly, Frankston Council increased their parking fees last month making the traders situation worse by driving more customers away.”

Several traders in Young St, frustrated at delays in state government project to upgrade the central Frankston street near the train station, have asked the Labor government for financial compensation.

Traders say there has been a downturn in trade they say they have suffered during the works to repave and revamp the area.

The Young St works began in November last year and were slated to finished in May.

The works were originally planned to begin last July for an estimated March finish.

The project, overseen by VicRoads and carried out by Seymour Whyte contractors, is now estimated to be finished at the end of October.

Mr Edbrooke’s petition for council to scrap paid parking in central Frankston comes as councillors at September’s public council meeting debated charging developers a $19,500 levy for each car parking space requirement at a new development waived by council or when council is overruled on car parking requirements at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Council is seeking community feedback on a parking overlay to be applied to the Frankston Planning Scheme.

Council previously charged $10,000 per car space not provided from 1987 until council amalgamations in 1994.

“That policy worked extremely well,” Cr Colin Hampton said at the council meeting held on 4 September.

“It built a double-storey car park north of Beach St with money we had collected from developers within the CAD [central activity district] itself.”

The longtime councillor said council needs to “accumulate donations” from developers wanting to build in Frankston to fund future car park spaces for central Frankston.

“There is a belief from bureaucrats, both local and state, that cars will be gone in ten years’ time,” he said.

“There is no way we are going to lose individual transport in this city. We’re outer metropolitan – our transport system would not allow that.”

“People need to have a robust public transport system before you can start to eliminate vehicles.”

Cr Hampton said buses ran “too infrequently” and a lack of parking in central Frankston discourages shoppers who go elsewhere.

Cr Glenn Aitken, an architecture aficionado, expressed concern at “bulky, confronting and dog ugly” multi-deck car parks becoming a blight on Frankston.

“At the very inception of anyone talking multi-storey car parks they should also be talking good design and good outcomes,” Cr Aitken said at the meeting.

He praised the use of “perforated metals used to screen edifices” to avoid “a form of neo brutalism” in architectural design.

Frankston residents can still make submissions about the parking overlay plan to council.

First published in the Frankston Times – 18 September 2017

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