THE paid parking trial about to start near Flinders pier has been called a fiasco and one that will endanger people who would rather walk down a narrow than pay to park.
Flinders Community Association president Mary Iles said the free e-permit offer for ratepayers and residents had “difficult to follow requirements, the website is unstable, and the process is a fiasco”.
“Many other issues have been raised with council to ensure a far simpler outcome. Even a sign which has already been installed at the Flinders pier is misleading,”.
The FCA have for months been actively campaigning about the parking trial due to start on Friday 1 December.
Iles said its members had written submissions and had numerous discussions with council officers.
The scheme relies on peninsula ratepayers and residents registering their vehicles online and using the PayStay app to get the e-permit that exempts them from paying for parking (“Permit needed to avoid paid parking” The News 21/11/23).
“Ratepayers and residents were only notified of the start of the online registration process via a social media post on the shire’s Facebook page on 15 November,” Iles said.
“Many community members of various ages and demographics do not access social media and rely on email or mail communication from council. Those that did try to register online found the process unwieldly and not user friendly.
“The registration process relied on certain proofs of residency such as a rates or utility notice together with proof of vehicle ownership to be uploaded.
“In many cases this type of information is simply not available. For instance, where the full time partner of a ‘a ratepayer or resident’ does not appear on a rates or utility notice but owns their own car. What kind of proof of residency does the shire require to enable the issue of a permit?”
Iles said there had been no end user testing of the process while many residents had seen their permit applications “rejected, or [were] simply unable to access the website or upload the relevant documentation required”.
“Residents are angry at the arrogance of council which has not listened to many community concerns about implementing a pilot that is totally inappropriate for Flinders,” she said.
“The proposed parking fees on visitors is a mean-spirited impost that will prohibit low-income families from visiting the area, who will instead gravitate to other areas of the peninsula where beach parking remains free.
“The proposed parking fees will also impact local aquaculture businesses that operate from the Flinders pier and discriminate against those people that don’t use apps, where English is not their first language or don’t use a mobile phone.
“It will have a direct impact on our small local economy and will push young families to park further away from the foreshore, exacerbating an already perilous situation where there is no safe pedestrian pathway that leads down from the monument to the Flinders pier precinct.
“Mixing walkers, the elderly, children and prams with cars and trucks towing boats along the narrow road with a hairpin bend is very dangerous.”