Free three-hour car parking proposed for Orange City Centre

LONGER STAY: The Orange City Centre car park could be extended to three hours of free parking if council approves the centre's request. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0820cfcarpark7
LONGER STAY: The Orange City Centre car park could be extended to three hours of free parking if council approves the centre's request. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0820cfcarpark7

Shoppers are set to receive a boost with free parking at the Orange City Centre likely to be increased from two to three hours under a request before Orange City Council.

Orange City Centre management has written to council asking for a change in the frequency that council parking officers inspect cars in the car park to allow for the first three hours to be free.

Centre manager Nicole Chapman said in the letter the extension would be better for shoppers, particularly once the former Myer building development was completed and the number of shops in the complex was significantly increased.

“The Centre is currently experiencing low traffic flow and we feel by offering customers increased parking time that the businesses within the centre will benefit,” she said.

“Post development the Centre will have approximately 60 retail stores, therefore two hours is not sufficient time for customers to meet and shop.

“Most large centres offer the first three hours free therefore we would like to introduce the same.”

She said it would also mean there would be no parking enforcement on Saturdays as council parking officers did not work past midday – the earliest time the three hour limit would expire.

Council staff have recommended the change be approved in a report for Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The report said there would implications from making the change.

“It may lead to confusion for shoppers having different time limits in different shopping centres,” it said.

“Emphasis would need to be placed on clear signage.”

The report said it might also result in less cars using council’s Ophir carpark as people might prefer to park in the City Centre car park for three free hours.

There might also be benefits for on-street parking.

“The arrangement is likely to result in a greater number of parking spaces being made available within Lords Place and surrounding streets,” it said.

The report said changing parking officers’ routines to patrol the City Centre car park every three hours was “technically challenging but possible.”

Council parking officers patrol the cars parks at the Orange City Centre, Orange Central, K-Mart and the Orange Summer Centre under lease agreements with the property owners at the various sites.

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