Waverley Council, in Sydney’s East, and home to iconic Sydney landmark Bondi Beach, have recently increased their parking fees by more than 10%, to $5 per hour. Bondi shop owners are fearful that the increased fees will have a negative impact on their trade.
Waverley’s mayor, Sally Betts, was reported as having demanded that ‘people from the western suburbs keep their cars away from Bondi Beach’ sparking an east-west divide through Sydney. Mayors and other spokespeople from suburbs in Sydney’s West were offended and upset by such claims, arguing that with inferior public transport and a wider distribution of population density, their residents had little choice but to resort to private vehicles, and had just as much right to visit the beach as those who live in the area.
Whilst the cost of parking may be perceived as high, the fact is that parking spaces at key tourist destinations are limited and therefore pricing is one effective way of regulating demand and encouraging turnover. It seems quite strange to us that shop owners would not consider a higher level of foot traffic as a positive element in their favour!