Mostly empty Volt Lane car park 'successful'

TWO-THIRDS of spaces in the new Volt Lane car park are usually empty at peak shopping times, and Albury Council couldn’t be happier.

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The council said yesterday the statistics proved the car park was working as planned.

This Saturday marks one year since the 497-space, five-level car park opened as the first stage in a $53 million redevelopment, which included the recent completion of the Australian Taxation Office building.

Traffic and transport team leader Steven Swann said the council knew Volt Lane had the capacity to deal with a typical Christmas shopping day, when there usually were an extra 300 to 400 vehicles parked across the central business district.

“With the spare capacity we’ve got there it allows us to ensure people coming into the city centre to do Christmas shopping will find a park without having to drive too far,” he said.

Before the car park was built there were about 210 parking spaces on the site.

“That was definitely our busiest car park in the CBD — if you went there at peak times it was 90 to 95 per cent full.”

The council adopted its city parking strategy in 2010 to try to ensure there were enough spaces available.

“What we’re finding now is that because we have more parking spaces, our peak utilisation rate has dropped,” Mr Swann said.

“In Volt Lane in particular, on a typical day you generally find about 150 cars there in the peak period.

“That’s what you’d expect because while you’ve put this nice shiny new car park in place there haven’t been new shops come on board or changes in land use nearby.”

The council acknowledged there were some early problems where people complained about tight turns on ramps, with inadequate room for two vehicles to pass.

Mr Swann said that was a temporary glitch.

When the car park opened people were driving in to have a look and driving out again.

Mr Swann said he had not received any reports of cars colliding “and I haven’t had any complaints of late either”.

“People are just getting used to it. It’s a different configuration but it meets all the relevant standards,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean it’s not tight but so are a lot of other car parks around town.”

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