Free Weekend Parking Trial Halted for Gold Coast Light Rail

A trial to provide free weekend parking in Southport and Surfers Paradise has now been permanently quashed following a review which found that the cost to the city outweighed the benefit to retailers and shoppers.

The parking trial was proposed early last year by Councillor Tom Tate as part of his Mayoral election campaign and it commenced  in September 2012. There were initial hopes of making it permanent policy, however the plan has now been scrapped after the quantification of the loss  of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

A spokesman for Cr Tate (now city Mayor) said the revenue gained from parking fees on weekends could help keep general parking costs down across the city and that less revenue meant less money for other investment opportunities, including public transport projects.

Last year’s trial coincided with the latest stage of light rail construction in the central business districts which is part of an over-arching city transport strategy. Much of Southport and Surfers Paradise’s on-street parking has been removed to make way for the light rail .

As reported on Gold Coast City’s website, it is unlikely that many of the previously available parking spaces will be reinstalled once the rapid transit system comes online in mid-2014, leading to a call from the council and State Government to encourage residents to use public transport.

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