Bayside Council scraps parking meter plans for licence plate recognition to boost revenue in Brighton Le Sands
The total value of Penalty Infringement Notices issued last financial year increased by approximately $700,000 compared to 2021/22.
The car parking strategy for Brighton Le Sands has been up for debate since 2014. Image: GTA Consultants
Bayside Council has scrapped parking meter plans in favour of unmarked Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) technology in high demand areas such as the Bay front and Brighton Le Sands.
The total value of Penalty Infringement Notices issued last financial year increased by approximately $700,000 compared to 2021/22, with council noting that “this is largely attributed to the increased efficiency and coverage of the LPR technology.”
“Our recommendation is… that we don't think it's worth pursuing parking meter technology as a way of encouraging parking turnover. It's expensive to set up. And there's a risk that it won't be great financially either.
“On the other hand, the licence plate recognition over the last year has certainly proven to be effective and it has the other benefits in terms of staff safety,” reported a council officer to the City Works & Assets Committee Meeting on August 9.
After several years of investigation into paid parking options, an analysis shown to council in 2022 highlighted that a metered parking system would be financially marginal. The modelling considered factors such as high uptake of permits, seasonal fluctuations in parking demand and a relatively low hourly payment rate.
Councillor Jansyn raised concerns regarding the lack of communication to residents about the use of LPR technology: “I have had feedback from residents saying ‘Oh, the Rangers never come anymore’. So is there any kind of [communication] piece that council can do around LPR?”
The council officer advised that Jansyn’s concerns would be taken into consideration.
“I think that sort of publicity always has a dual edged sword, doesn't it? Because the messaging is about, you know, people being fined for non-compliance. I think we need to probably have a bit of a think about how we would nuance that.”
“People who are fined do know that we're out there and do know that there's a lot of patrols now. We're covering more territory than we've ever covered in the past,” the council officer responded.
Currently, LPR cameras are installed in Sanoni Avenue, Trafalgar Street, Vanstone Parade and the Boulevarde, whilst there are five council vehicles equipped with LPR technology. Additionally, three hour timed parking measures are in place to encourage parking turnover in foreshore car parks.
Councillor Douglas mentioned community complaints regarding the lack of LPR technology on Riverside Drive.
In response, the council officer noted: “We've got to design for that. Riverside Drive came with some unique site constraints. We've done a little bit of consultation and we've had to refine the design to have the slimmest possible poles because as you can imagine, views are very important to the residents in that part of Bayside.
“We will be going out for consultation with affected residents shortly with a montage of what the installation of the cameras would look like,” she said.
Whilst there will be no further investigation into paid parking in Bayside, paid parking will be considered in the Boulevarde Car Park redevelopment to recoup related infrastructure costs.