Council wants your opinion on pay parking in Brunswick Heads
The draft Brunswick Heads Town Centre Parking Strategy is on exhibition for public comment and Byron Council is keen to hear what people think about the introduction of revised parking durations and pay parking in the town centre.
The Council commissioned consultants to conduct a parking study for the Brunswick Heads Town Centre in 2016 and they presented a draft Parking Management Strategy to inform the future management of parking and traffic in the beachside town.
“At its meeting on the 24 August 2017, Councillors supported the strategy as a basis for consultation with the Brunswick Heads community about the possible implementation of a revised parking layout and a pay parking scheme in the town,” Acting General Manager Mark Arnold said.
“Brunswick Heads is a popular destination for locals and tourists and if the lack of parking on the weekends is anything to go by this is a problem that is not going to go away,” Mr Arnold said.
“A lack of parking in the town centre is frustrating and Council believes the introduction of pay parking could not only improve traffic flow, but could generate revenue from visitors that will be reinvested back into Brunswick Heads,” he said.
Council introduced pay parking to Byron Bay in December 2015 and last year alone it generated $3.5 million which has funded road and infrastructure upgrades in Byron and has facilitated the development of a range of key Master Plan projects in the town centre.
“Without parking revenue these projects would not have been able to proceed,” Mr Arnold said.
“Parking consultants estimate the introduction of pay parking in Brunswick Heads could generate $900,000 a year which Council has undertaken to dedicate to upgraded public amenities and infrastructure in Brunswick Heads,” he said.
Further works such as the recent reconstruction of The Terrace would be facilitated including Tweed Street master plan projects and new public amenities which the Business Chamber and community organisations have been asking of Council for years.
“Our records show people from Brunswick Heads and the north of the Byron Shire already have 1670 pay parking permits which means they can park free of charge in all pay parking zones in the Shire including Byron Bay, Wategos, Belongil, Bangalow (from January 2018) and perhaps Brunswick Heads.
“Accordingly, the proposed pay parking scheme targets visitors to the Shire who will generate the majority of parking revenue collected at the meters,” Mr Arnold said.
“Council is aware that some businesses in Brunswick Heads are concerned that the introduction of pay parking would have a negative impact on their livelihood.
“While this is perfectly understandable, business operators in Byron Bay had similar concerns before pay parking was introduced there in 2015 however since then visitor numbers have continued to increase and businesses are now quite supportive of the scheme,” Mr Arnold said.
Byron Shire Council is listening to community concerns and suggestions and this feedback will be compiled in a further report back to the Council in November.
The draft Brunswick Heads Town Centre Parking Strategy will be on public exhibition until the 20 October.
Council staff will be visiting Brunswick Heads to talk to business owners and members of the community in coming weeks.
A random telephone survey will also be done and people are encouraged to do an online survey on Council’s website www.byron.nsw.gov.au .
For more information call Josh Winter, Project Engineer on 6626 7000.