Cinema leads petition opposing paid parking at Byron Bay

MORE than 500 people have signed a petition against extending paid parking in Byron Bay.

Palace Byron Bay cinema in Jonson St wrote the cover letter for the petition, which has been provided to Byron Shire Council, according to the council's meeting agenda for today.

The petition has 525 signatures and raises particular concerns about worsening parking difficulties for disabled and elderly drivers.

"We, the undersigned, object to the proposed introduction of paid parking into Byron Bay streets, without exemption for Byron Shire residents and ratepayers, and the 40 further proposals to reduce the number of four-hour parking areas and possibly restrict adjourning streets without paid parking to residents of those streets," the petition reads.

"We believe these proposals will make it extremely difficult to park within walking distance of the cinema, and present a particular hardship for older and/or disabled residents."

The cinema's cover letter says extending the limited paid parking already in place in Byron would be a blight on its business.

"As most films run for at least two hours, sometimes significantly longer, patrons not living within walking distance of the cinema - the vast majority of our customers - either park in the Plaza car park or in the nearby streets that don't currently have timed parking," it reads.

"If Jonson Street becomes subject to paid parking, many people who currently park there will instead park in the free Plaza car park, reducing the availability of parking for patrons of the cinema and other Plaza businesses including Woolworths.

"We urge you to find an alternative means of raising revenue and solving the town's parking issues."

The council's director of infrastructure services has noted the petition and said issues raised will be included in the proposal's discussion paper, including the addition of a locals' exemption.

The director will provide a further report to the council this month for a final decision on recommendations in the Byron Parking Study Report, the agenda states.

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