Ballarat City Council has reinstated a parking permit zone for the Ballarat Senior Citizens Club.
Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said 17 free parks would be designated for the club in the Little Bridge Street car park.
The permit zone will be from 9am until 3.30pm, permits will be attached to a specific vehicle registration and will not be transferrable.
“After reviewing the concerns of the club we felt the return of some free parking was warranted to allow people to be able to access the activities on offer at the Ballarat Senior Citizens Club,” Cr Taylor said.
“The Smarter Parking Plan will constantly be reviewed and if we think there are specific areas of concern we will address it – as we have with the Senior Citizens Club.”
Cr Taylor also refuted online claims that motorists can end other people’s parking sessions.
“The parking meters do not have the technology to allow people to end other people’s parking sessions. They can’t even end their own sessions – the time just runs out.
“I would urge everyone to inform themselves about the Smarter Parking Plan and how it works, particularly the meters and the app, via the smarterparking [at] ballarat.com () website.”
Cr Taylor also said the statistics showed people were clearly using Smarter Parking.
By Wednesday night, 4554 people had claimed a free hour of parking, 675 people had paid using the coin machines and 1854 motorists has used the credit card facilities.
To date, another 5719 people have downloaded the CellOPark app.
Currently there are 105 of a total of 143 meters installed. As of Sunday, there will be 135 meters installed.
Of these 58 are commissioned and operating, which are in the core CBD area between Dawson, Grenville, Mair and Dana streets. All meters will be installed by February 15.
Cr Taylor also addressed concerns the Smarter Parking Plan was a revenue raising exercise.
“Our data shows 70 per cent of motorists stay less than two hours in the CBD. This means 70 per cent of motorists will be paying $3 an hour for their parking because of our initiative of providing one hour free parking.
“This plan has been in the making for several years and has been brought about by the rapid growth of this city which has caused congestion in the CBD.
“We wanted to balance the needs of workers, shoppers and residents and, after the most extensive community consultation we’ve undertaken, this was felt to be the best way to do this.”