Meters installed near hospital
PAID parking made its inaugural debut on the streets of Lismore last week.
Four parking meters have been installed and activated near Lismore Base Hospital on Uralba Street between Hunter and Dibbs streets.
Lismore City Council compliance officer Stuart Thompson didn’t see the moves as a matter of urban realities catching up with Lismore, explaining that the $1 per hour fee was hardly the ‘money-grabbing’ of schemes in bigger cities.
“It was always about freeing up parking in the Lismore Base Hospital precinct,” he said.
“It’s been running for a week now and we’ve already partly achieved our goal.
“We’re still not sure if people are putting money in the machines as we’re yet to empty them, but that was never the point.”
Council voted unanimously in December to adopt the strategy after years of parking problems around the facility.
A study carried out by council rangers showed that half of the available short term car spaces were not being turned over hourly and were being occupied for more than four hours by the same vehicles – and sometimes for up to eight hours.
The issue became so contentious that rangers stopped patrolling the area because of the abuse they were receiving.
All proceeds from the scheme will be placed in reserve and council will investigate a shuttle service to help dispersed motorists to access the hospital more easily. All existing disabled parking spaces remain free and unchanged.
The parking fee will operate between 8.30am and 4pm weekdays, and from 8.30am to 1pm on Saturdays, with an extended two-hour time limit.
“We’ve also taken into consideration the needs of nightshift nurses and staff so they don’t have to walk long distances in the dark,” Mr Thompson said.