Item 10.3 - Attachment 1

Parking Meters - Option Paper March 2009






MARCH 2009






F2008/03695 – D01157490






2.1       Background. 3

2.2       Expanded 15 Minute Free Parking Ticket Scheme. 4

2.3       Options To Recover Revenue. 5


3.1       Background. 6

3.2       Alternative to Parking Tickets. 6

3.3       Proposal 7

ATTACHMENT 1     Parking Meters – Parramatta. 8

ATTACHMENT 2     Parking Meters in Parramatta 75c or less. 8

ATTACHMENT 3     Proposed Parking Restrictions – Harris Park. 8

ATTACHMENT 4     Current Parking Restrictions – Harris Park. 8









This report addresses a suggestion from the Lord Mayor that Council consider extending the provision of free 15 minute parking tickets to all parking meters throughout Parramatta as this facility is currently only available from some metres in North Parramatta and Harris Park.   The report also addresses a Question from the Lord Mayor on behalf of Councillor Chedid at the Delegated Authority Meeting held on 22 January 2009 regarding the provision of additional parking permits to businesses in Harris Park.  The concern raised was that employees do not have access to all day parking in close proximity to their place of employment and sought advice as to whether pre-paid parking passes could be made available.



2.1     Background

The Parramatta City Centre Parking Plan (2001) included a recommendation to introduce on street ticket parking machines. In 2005 Council resolved to introduce pay and display ticket parking machines in the CBD, North Parramatta and Harris Park and in November 2005 the installation of 360 ticket parking machines was completed. There are currently 354 ticket parking machines in the CBD, North Parramatta and Harris Park (please refer to attached map for exact locations Attachment 1). The cost of parking varies based on the location; the current rates are as follows:



Monday – Friday til 6pm per hour

Monday – Friday after 6pm per hour

Saturday per hour

CBD (Zones 1, 2, 3 and Zone 7 north of Parkes Street)




North Parramatta (Zones 4,5 & 6) and south  CBD (Zone 7 south of Parkes Street)




Harris Park (Zone 8)





Where all day parking is available the rate ranges from $5.50 to $10.00 per day depending on the location.


When the meters were originally introduced the rates per hour were $3.60, $2.40 and $1.20, during 2006 the rates were reduced to $3.00, $2.00 and $1.00 respectively and they have not been increased since that time.


In preparation of the Council’s draft services budget for 2009/10 there has been no proposed change to the parking meter rates. This is in contrast with a significant increase to the rates for the 4 multi level car parks (Erby Place, Horwood Place, Hunter Street and Wentworth Street) as a result of the substantial increase of the Parking Space Levy (PSL) payable to the NSW Government. The PSL has increased from $470 per space in the 2008/09 financial year to $710 per space for the coming financial year. In previous financial years the PSL has been indexed by CPI. The PSL is applicable to off-street commercial parking, for Council this includes the 4 multi level car parks (total of 2973 spaces) as well as off-street metered spaces (eg: Macquarie, Fennell and Lennox Bridge car parks etc a total of 637 spaces). For the 2009/10 financial year the increase in PSL is budgeted at approximately $580,000 ($480,000 for the 4 multi level car parks and $100,000 for the off-street metered areas).


2.2     Expanded 15 Minute Free Parking Ticket Scheme

It is understood that the Lord Mayor’s suggestion is that Council implement 15 minute free parking tickets to all metered parking areas as currently exists in parts of Harris Park and North Parramatta.   It is envisaged that the proposal would be popular with short stay visitors and may encourage greater parking turnover in the CBD to support an overall increase in business activity.


There are currently 34 meters in the retail areas of Harris Park and North Parramatta which offer 15 minute free tickets. Businesses in these areas that service local residents compete with other centres such as Granville and Northmead. In comparison to businesses in the Parramatta CBD, they rely more on having convenient short stay parking. Similar businesses in Parramatta CBD tend to depend on office workers and people travelling by public transport. 


A recent review of tickets issued found that where the 15 minute free tickets are currently available, these tickets account for between 60% (in North Parramatta) to 65% (in Harris Park) of all tickets issued from those machines.


In stark contrast, the proportion of tickets currently sold in the retail core of the CBD for 15 minutes or less is approximately 2%.  (Monday to Friday til 6pm this to 75c or less tickets, or Monday to Friday after 6pm and Saturdays this is 25c or less tickets and equates to around $50,000 of revenue per annum). The attached plan shows (Attachment 2) which machines had the most number of these transactions. It was observed that near to most of these meters were ATMs, banks, the post office and the library which are all likely to require short stay parking.


The annual reduction in revenue that would be caused by the introduction of free 15 minute parking throughout the City is difficult to predict due to the large discrepancy between the proportion of tickets currently issued for 15 minute of less stays in the CBD  compared to Harris Park/ and North Parramatta where they are currently free.  If, for example, the proportion of tickets issued for free 15 minute parking became 10%, then the annual reduction in revenue would be at least $250,000.  The one-off cost for implementing the changes to the machines would be between $170,000 and $250,000 depending on whether the changes are completed during or after business hours. The process of performing this change is lengthy taking around 4 hours per machine. Depending on the number of staff available the change could take between 1 and 3 months to complete.


Some of the ‘Loading Zones’ currently require drivers to obtain a free loading zone ticket.  If free 15 minute parking tickets are introduced it would no longer be possible to require drivers to obtain loading zone tickets.  This is because the machines are not capable of issuing more than 2 types of ticket.


Some motorists obtain another free 15 minute ticket after the first one expires.  This is legal, in the same way that it is legal to purchase a 15 minute ticket, then another, in a 1/2 hour parking space. Rangers are only able to enforce the parking time limit displayed for that area and the requirement to have a valid ticket.


2.3     Options To Recover Revenue

If Council proceeds with expanding the 15 minute free parking ticket scheme, it will have a negative impact on total revenue for parking meters.   Council could either reduce the projects funded from the Parking Meter Reserve or seek to offset the lost revenue.   The following options are available to increase other parking revenue to compensate for the reduction in revenue from installing free 15 minute parking tickets:


(a) Increase the fee in Macquarie Street car park from $10 per day to $12 per day. This car park is well used and other all day car parking in the CBD has increased by a similar amount in recent years. Based on its current level of usage this increase would provide approximately an additional $80,000 - $90,000 in revenue per annum. It would cost approximately $1,200 to make this change to the machines with no additional on going costs. This increase would also cover the budgeted increase of $34,000 in Parking Space Levy for this car park.


(b) Replace the free all day parking available for 40 spaces in Early Street with $5.50 per day parking.

Occupancy Level

Revenue P/A










There would also be additional costs associated with installing and maintaining these machines. The installation costs would be approximately $6,000 and the on going maintenance would cost approximately $8,000 per annum including cash collection costs.


(c)   Introduce 2 tiers to the all day parking rate.  The areas closer to the CBD could be increased from $5.50 to $7.00 per day and outer areas could be reduced from $5.50 to $5.00 per day. Based on current levels of usage this is likely to provide an additional $55,000 revenue per annum. The cost to perform this change would be approximately $6,000 to $9,000.


Note: all prices are inclusive of GST


(d)   Recover Revenue by Increasing Hourly Rate.   In order to recover the likely reduction in revenue from the introduction of 15 minute free tickets and the increase in the State Government’s Parking Space Levy, the hourly rate would need to increase to the following:

Tariff Time

Current Hourly Rate

Revised Hourly Rate

Monday – Friday til 6pm



Monday – Friday til 6pm (North Parramatta and south CBD)



Monday – Friday after 6pm







The cost to implement this change would be between $55,000 and $85,000 depending on whether the work was undertaken during or after business hours.


3.1     Background

At the Delegated Authority Meeting held on 22 January 2009, the Lord Mayor asked a question on behalf of Councillor Chedid regarding the provision of additional parking permits to businesses in Harris Park.  The concern raised was that only some businesses currently receive parking permits and there are employees who do not have access to all day parking who would benefit from a permit or  pre-paid parking scheme. 


Clause 124(4) of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management)(Road Rules)Regulation 1999 restricts Council from issuing a parking permit unless it is in accordance with the RTA's Parking Permit Manual.


The RTA's Manual says that the following criteria must be met for 'principals of the business or employees' to be eligible for a Business Parking Permit (BPP):


i.    business premises has no on-site parking facility and no unrestricted on-street parking space in front of or close to the business

ii.   supply of off-street parking facilities within the area of the BPS are inadequate to meet the parking demand

iii.  business premises could not reasonably be modified to provide on-site parking space(s)

iv.  vehicle registration number is recorded on the permit

v.   vehicle is not a truck, bus, tram or tractor

vi.  vehicle is registered in NSW in the name of the business or an employee (some exception are listed separately)


Currently there are 27 business parking permits issued to businesses in Harris Park.  The business parking permits cost $26.65 per year.  There are many other businesses in Harris Park that have on-site parking are therefore not eligible for a parking permit. 


There is currently all day parking on the fringes of Harris Park, some free and some $5.50 per day.  There is also a small all day car park in Wigram Street near the centre of Harris Park charging $5.50 per day.


3.2     Alternative to Parking Tickets

There have been some suggestions that additional ‘permits’ or ‘coupons’ should be able to be purchased, eg for 1 month to 1 year, as a form of pre-purchasing discounted parking.  However as per the RTA guidelines Council can not operate both a 'Ticket' parking scheme and a 'Coupon' parking scheme in the same area and is prevented, therefore, from selling parking ‘coupons’ where ticket parking machines are already in operation.


3.3     Proposal

To address the concerns about all day parking, it is proposed that parking restrictions in Harris Park be changed to allow all day parking in more areas of Harris Park. This would allow all day ticket parking on one side of the street with the other side being free but time restricted (1 or 2 hour maximum). It is proposed that all the streets in Harris Park have this arrangement except for the main commercial streets, those being Marion Street, Wigram Street (between Parkes Street and Marion Street), and Kendall Street (due to its close proximity to the CBD). This arrangement currently applies in some areas surrounding the CBD, but not in areas with as many businesses. A plan of the proposed parking restrictions is attached (Attachment 3) along with the existing parking arrangements (Attachment 4).


The all day parking would accommodate employees.  It would be at the same cost as parking on the fringes of the CBD (currently $5.50) to ensure that there was not excessive demand from CBD workers. A ticket would need to be purchased and displayed. Harris Park businesses that are currently eligible for a business parking permit would continue to be eligible.


The 2 hour free parking would accommodate customers, clients and visitors.  No ticket would be required as it would be confusing if 2 different types of ticket were issued in the street. A risk of this proposal, however, is that workers would shift their cars every 2 hours to avoid paying for all day parking as occurred prior to the introduction of the meters.


Marion Street is proposed to be 1 hour free parking and Wigram Street (between Parkes Street and Marion Street) to be 2 hour free parking. There is a greater number of businesses in Wigram Street than adjacent streets and recently DAs have been assessed for 3 additional restaurants in this street.  Therefore no all day parking is proposed in this section of Wigram Street. 


The section of Wigram Street and Harris Street north of Parkes Street and part of Hassall Street are currently in a different zone to the rest of Harris Park.   It is proposed that paid parking be retained in this area due to its close proximity to the CBD although Council may wish to consider reducing the rate in this area.


The proposed changes would better match the demand for parking in the Harris Park area.  Several scenarios of utilisation have been tested and they indicate that the level of use of the all day parking would need to be 35% or less for there to be a reduction in net revenue. The current low level of revenue from this area is due to the current lack of all day on-street parking, low rate of $1.00 per hour and extensive use of the free 15 minute parking.


The table below shows the increase in revenue that would be generated for Harris Park. The values are the revenue net of maintenance expenses.


Occupancy Level

Increase in Revenue Net of Expenses








In order for this proposal to be implemented it would require further consultation with stakeholders in the Harris Park precinct and to be submitted to Council’s Traffic Committee for consideration and approval.




ATTACHMENT 1    Parking Meters – Parramatta

ATTACHMENT 2    Parking Meters in Parramatta 75c or less

ATTACHMENT 3    Proposed Parking Restrictions – Harris Park

ATTACHMENT 4    Current Parking Restrictions – Harris Park