PARKING is at a premium in Nelson Bay’s CBD, particularly on weekends and during school holidays.
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Locals have been wondering what the outcome of the sale of the car park on the corner of Donald and Yacaaba Streets will mean to the convenience of visiting the Nelson Bay Township.
Carmel Foster, Group Manager of Corporate Services at Port Stephens Council told News Of The Area, “Council has been leasing this site for use as a public car park and, despite the sale, we can extend this lease out to November 2019; we also continue to provide limited car parking on the ground level of the multi deck car park in Donald Street as well as the car parks adjoining the eastern and northern sides of the Rivers store in Donald Street.”
She believes that the recently undertaken Traffic and Transport Study which was conducted as part of the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy found that parking operates under capacity during a typical weekday, however, capacity is reached during peak holiday periods.
The land came up for sale during the period which Council was operating in caretaker mode and were unable to be involved in any purchase negotiations.
“We are investigating ways of increasing parking supply in the short term through encouraging greater turnover and, where opportunities exist, exploring the feasibility of land purchases and leases in appropriate locations in the town centre,” she said.
Rory Milne of Terry White Chemmart Nelson Bay, who is also on the board of the Tomaree Business Chamber, told News Of The Area, “If people can’t find a parking space it translates to loss of business and loss of jobs which leads to more empty retail spaces.”
“Ultimately the Chamber would like to see a long-term plan from Council for Nelson Bay for parking so that traders will know what our future is,” he said.
Ann Evans of Addison Partners who is also on the board of the Tomaree Business Chamber said, “It is not just retail services that are impacted, business services operating in the area are also impacted by lack of parking.”
By Marian SAMPSON