PORT Stephens Council last week voted in favour of installing smart parking meters in the Nelson Bay town centre and introducing free parking for residents and ratepayers, as well as those who work in the town centre.
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Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer says the Smart Parking Infrastructure Program will address community concerns about parking demand and supply in Nelson Bay.
“We know that during busy holiday periods, parking in Nelson Bay can be in short supply. Our new smart parking scheme will address many of these concerns by reducing the time it takes to find a park, making the parking process easier and improving road safety,” Mayor Palmer said.
“After consulting with the community and businesses extensively late last year, support for a smart parking scheme with free parking for residents, ratepayers and employees of local businesses was very strong,” he said.
Smart parking will reduce cash parking meters in the area by introducing app support, number plate recognition and sensors. This will allow motorists to find a car park easier and pay online via an app if they choose.
Funds collected from smart parking will be reinvested into Nelson Bay to fund improvements to public domain, landscaping, increased car parking and place activation.
Mayor Palmer said the changes would help increase economic activity after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
“We understand businesses are doing it tough at the moment and I want to assure our business community that these changes are not expected to come into effect until well after the majority of COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
“By ensuring parking turnover, providing a free parking scheme and reinvesting funds into making improvements to Nelson Bay, we know smart parking will have a positive impact on local businesses and help restart the Port Stephens economy,” he added.