DRIVERS of vehicles without trailers have been photographed ignoring parking restrictions at Schnapper Point, Mornington.
As well as being watched by other visitors, the drivers risk being booked by Mornington Peninsula Shire officers who have stepped up patrols since this month’s introduction of paid parking.
Schnapper Point, near the pier at Flinders and Sunnyside Beach, Mount Eliza are the three sites chosen to test the shire’s paid parking trial over summer.
One Mornington resident contacted The News to say there were “plenty” of empty car parking spaces, but many drivers were choosing to park in the boat and trailer area.
The mayor Cr Simon Brooks said the issue of cars without trailers parking in the designated boat trailer car park had long been a problem at Schnapper Point.
“We expect the visitor paid parking pilot to improve this situation and make it easier for boat owners to park,” he said.
“Our officers have been patrolling the Schnapper Point car park at least four times a day since the visitor paid parking pilot began on 1 December.
“We have found that with the installation of cameras and new signage, the number of cars without trailers parked in the boat trailer area has decreased considerably.
“This area is not a no stopping zone, so cars without trailers are allowed to park for up to two minutes, as long as the driver remains with the vehicle. This is to allow drop-offs and pick-ups at Mothers Beach.
“The camera technology used for the pilot means any vehicle that enters this area without a boat trailer attached and remains for longer than two minutes will be liable to receive an infringement notice.”
Meanwhile, Cr David Gill said issues related to the paid parking trial “seem to have just begun”.
He said an investigation was needed into why the three parking areas were chosen for the $1 million paid parking trial.
Gill said there was no need to test the equipment and technology “in small locations, as we were told it works everywhere else already”.
“Why didn’t council trial in a large location to see if such a project would work on the required scale here to be profitable?
“We spent another million dollars on ‘smart parking’ in Rye not long ago, if a paid parking trial was a good idea that area made more sense.”
Gill said he believed councillors were out of step with the community “who don’t accept councillor support for paid parking”.
He said the “latest reasons” given for mistakes in the paid parking trial “is that the process was rushed”.
“Signs went up at Flinders pier on the morning of the start date. Paid for monitoring cameras to police illegal parking [are] yet to be seen.
Gill said he was “looking forward” to a council vote on when to start enforcing fines on “unregistered locals seeking to legally avoid the $6.50 an hour payment”.
He speculated whether a notice of motion to prevent residents from being fined would be allowed or rejected “because it could be deemed an operational matter”.