Wodonga councillor wants time limits reduced for car parking along city's prime shopping street

Call for change: One-hour parking in Wodonga's High Street should be mixed with 30 and 15-minute slots, councillor Danny Lowe believes. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Call for change: One-hour parking in Wodonga's High Street should be mixed with 30 and 15-minute slots, councillor Danny Lowe believes. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

WODONGA councillor Danny Lowe wants car parks with 15 and 30-minute time limits introduced to High Street.

The Albury retailer feels more frequent rotation of parks would boost trade.

“There should be some hour parking in High Street and some short term parking,” Cr Lowe said.

“There should be some 15-minute or 30-minute parks.

“Pedestrians are business, not cars, so the more people you can have flowing through there the better.”

Cr Lowe’s comments follow council this week adopting a Wodonga CBA Car Parking Plan after a review of bays in the retail heart.

In response to public feedback arguing street parking near shops should be 30 minutes or less, the council plans to change its focus on that aspect from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ priority.

Speaking from his experience operating Wayne Ritchie’s outdoor shop in central Albury, Cr Lowe said businesses should not rely on customers being able to park in front of their shops.

“Shops that they think need car parks directly out the front need to have a look at their business model,” he told fellow councillors.

“You shouldn’t open a business relying on three or four car parks out the front – I don’t want to be blunt, but that’s about as blunt as I can get with that one.”

Contentious: Shipping container businesses in Junction Place have upset traders with one eatery boss believing parking rules should be changed around the outlets. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Contentious: Shipping container businesses in Junction Place have upset traders with one eatery boss believing parking rules should be changed around the outlets. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Wodonga Retailers president Greg Haysom said his members had discussed reduced car park limits.

“I can’t say whether we’re for or against, but we would like to have a good conversation about what the merit of it is and who is for or against,” Mr Haysom said.

The computer seller added: “There can be some merit for half-hour slots (but) it’s not going to please everyone, no matter what you do.”

A High Street eatery boss believes one-hour parking limits should be introduced around the Junction Place food pods to ensure equal treatment.

Mr Haysom noted the pods frustrated other retailers, but said “if they weren’t there we would be missing out on something”.

“If we turned that area into timed parking anyone wanting to sit in Junction Place and enjoy that area wouldn’t be able to do it,” he said.