Electronic monitoring of time restricted parking could soon be in a town centre near you after council declared a three-month trial of the technology installed in 49 one-hour spaces in Leura's The Mall a success.
Councillors voted 9-0 at Tuesday night's council meeting in favour of recommendations to keep using the vehicle sensor devices at The Mall - subject to a review of the appropriateness of the one-hour parking time limit - and endorse expansion of the system "in appropriate circumstances" in other parts of Leura and busy village centres across the Blue Mountains.
Expansion of the system beyond Leura would require justification by an appropriate business case, consultation with relevant chambers of commerce and owners of nearby shops and small businesses and be located in areas of high parking demand as determined by council's Citywide Parking Strategy.
Feedback from the Leura Village Association and an analysis of the trial's results identified teething problems including confusion and lack of awareness about electronic monitoring of parking and the parking time restrictions in place, so council resolved to provide more distinctive line marking and information and directional signs wherever sensor devices are used to monitor parking.
A council report showed the Leura trial enabled significantly more efficient and regular patrols by rangers at The Mall and a spike in vehicle overstay detections and fines issued.
A total of 429 penalty infringement notices and 79 formal warnings were issued to drivers during the three-month trial and many more informal warnings, plus new penalties for illegally parking in loading zones and for not parking within marked parking bays.
The report acknowledged a community perception that the system was a revenue raiser for council, but stressed only 8.1 per cent of drivers detected of overstaying during the trial were issued with fines.
The Leura Village Association (LVA) welcomed the introduction of the technology in The Mall as a way of increasing parking space availability, but its feedback about the trial's performance was mixed.
32 LVA members made submissions to council - 20 were favourable, 12 were unsupportive and seven were neutral.