Wodonga to revamp parking plans

A WODONGA car-parking plan will be reworked because of fears it does not adequately address future needs.

The council said the “strategy” prepared by Cardno Victoria was little more than a “study” and had shortcomings.

But the Cardno findings will be used to inform the council as it prepares its own business area car-parking strategy.

Cr Anna Speedie led the criticism at this week’s council meeting.

She said much of the plan “was not underpinned by anything” including details of the number of parking spaces required by retailers and other commercial space.

“We need some clarity, particularly for investors coming into our city,” she said.

“Some higher level work still needs to be done.”

Cr Speedie said one discrepancy in the Cardno study was a reference to Red Rooster in High Street having public parking when the parking was for its customers.

Cardno’s report said there were 4192 car park spaces in the centre of Wodonga.

The council had been asked to consider adopting a 10-point recommendation based on the study.

Instead, it voted for an 11-point alternate proposed by Cr Speedie.

It rejected the removal of two-hour restrictions in Hume Street, between Stanley and Lawrence streets.

Cr Rod Wangman agreed with Cr Speedie’s argument, but said that probably 80 per cent of the original recommendation was included in Cr Speedie’s motion.

Cr Mike Fraser said the strategy should address the needs of people working in the centre of the city.

That meant they might have to walk 200 metres from a car space to work instead of 20 metres, which, in turn, meant making the decision to leave home five minutes earlier each morning.

“Customers want to park closer so you need to work out what to do with longer-term parking,” he said.

Councillors backed Cr Speedie’s recommendation that an interim report on the strategy be presented to its April meeting.

The intention is that this will “ensure a robust strategy for the planning scheme amendment”.

Councillors agreed that car parking requirements constantly changed in response to ongoing development in the city.

They also decided that any strategy should then be reviewed each year.

Council officers will be asked to investigate possible sites for new car parks.