LOOKS like Bangalow is next on the list for paid parking with Byron Shire Council set to begin a parking review for the town soon.
Council believes a paid parking scheme in Bangalow would generate an estimated $700,000 net income to Council each year and would assist with infrastructure maintenance and improvement in Bangalow town centre and elsewhere in the Shire.
Council re-assured locals that as is the case for paid parking in the Byron CBD, residents, ratepayers and workers pay parking e-permit would apply to Bangalow pay parking areas at no additional fee.
President of the Bangalow Chamber of Commerce Jo Miller said she was fielding many calls from local businesses and ratepayers all opposed to the introduction of paid parking in the town.
"We are currently undergoing a massive town masterplanning process that has highlighted again and again the issues around traffic management," she said.
"Parking around town is a problem but talking about paid parking now is premature when we are already in this planning process.
"Where is the community consultation? We are not a major tourist attraction like Byron we are fndamentally a small heritage village and paid parking is not part of how we see ourselves."
Ms Miller is also part of Bangalow Community Action Alliance, a group made up of around 16 local Bangalow residents groups who she says are all oposed to the introduction of pay parking.
"There is widespread community opposition to this," she said.
The council has confirmed it will conduct a community consultation during April and the parking study undertaken by the Council will be complementary to town's masterplan process.
Byron Shire Council infrastructure planning team leader Evan Elford said if introduced, paid parking would apply to one and two hour parking areas within the town centre.
Council is also considering increasing the number of one-hour parks after a survey found the average parking time was 54 minutes.
The proposed paid parking scheme would run exactly like the existing program in Byron Bay, and exemption e-permit holders would simply park and walk away.
Existing pay parking exemption e-permit holders would not need to apply for an additional exemption.
The council is expecting a public report to be made available by mid-year.
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