MOTORISTS in the Warrnambool CBD have been given a period of grace from the city council with parking inspectors issuing a warning before a fine.
Warnings will be issued over the next fortnight to motorists who have not paid for parking in metered spaces within the city centre.
The move comes after The Standard reported on Saturday there had been some confusion for motorists using the new pay-by-plate system.
Council Manager City Amenity Glenn Reddick said after a warning if motorists were still not paying for a parking session they would be issued with a fine. “Where motorists have parked illegally, including in bus stop bays, disabled parks or loading zones, we will issue infringement notices without an initial warning,” he said.
“The new parking meters and parking app have been operational for more than a month and we know that most motorists have familiarised themselves with one or both of these payment options and are doing the right thing.”
Director City Infrastructure Scott Cavanagh said the official warnings began on Thursday and formed part of the education process to help people become familiar with the new system. He said the new system provided local laws officers with an indication as to whether people had made an attempt to pay for their parking session.
He said motorists were still required to check for and comply with the parking time limit sign that applies to the space in which they have parked their car. He said since early December about 5,000 valid parking sessions had been recorded each day, so council knew that the overwhelming majority of people were successfully using the system.
Council local laws officers will be at Friday night’s Lake Pertobe market after reports of people parking on footpaths and cars facing the wrong direction to traffic.
“Last week there were a number of dangerous parking activities including driving on footpaths, parking on footpaths and cars parked the wrong way to the direction of traffic,” Mr Reddick said. “To make the environment safer for pedestrians we hope the visible Local Laws presence in the Lake Pertobe precinct will provide a deterrent to inappropriate parking.
“The issuing of infringement notices will be a last resort but where there is a blatant disregard for both safety and parking regulations they will be issued.”
Free parking options are available a short walk from the market at Flagstaff Hill, Cannon Hill and the car park opposite TAFE in Merri Street. To use the meters people should first check the parking limit sign that applies to the space in which their car is parked, before selecting the correct time zone.