Resident Parking for Leura Locals
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Leura is full of tourists. This isn't a bad thing and we welcome the boost to the valuable Blue Mountains economy, but there are people who are finding it hard to cope with the lack of available parking in town.
Those people are locals, young and old but especially our elderly and less abled, who have found that just popping into their local village for something they need quickly or for their weekly shop has become a chore and a battle because of overcrowding and lack of parking.
Most local people from Leura would rather take a trip to Katoomba and shop there, because they know that it will take less time than trying to find a parking space in Leura, especially during school holidays or on the weekend. Some people decide to 'go without' and this is especially poor for our more vulnerable folks in town.
Parking has become so difficult here that many people take a taxi to Woolworths to avoid driving their own car.
This of course, is expensive. Why are our older locals having to shoulder this burden, some who are on already limited funds?
Not only that, but some elderly residents exist on restricted licenses, meaning they can only drive during the day so night visits to shop are not possible and why should local residents be forced into shopping at unsociable times because of poor parking by tourists?
If you're lucky enough to find a space on the Mall whilst you shop at the local Woolworths and you over stay an hour, then you'll end up with a fine... over $100 just because you parked in your own village. (I experienced this in June, whist taking my daughter out for an 18th birthday breakfast - breakfast, bought a present, got delayed in the shop, came out to a fine....)
Residents of Leura should be able to park in their own village for longer than 60 minutes without incurring a fine from Blue Mountains City Council. We pay rates to the council and it is wrong that we be fined for parking in our own village.
If you need to shop on a weekend, and let's face it, many of us do, then locals have to either go to Woolworths very early to be able to attain a parking space or they spend time driving around the parking area in the hope of getting a space. In my experience, a 10-15 minute wait for parking is not unusual.
On a weekend, the roads, car park, underground car park can all be packed with cars, and yet there are no shoppers in Woolworths.
That's because tourists take the parking areas in Woolworths early and then head out for their day in the mountains.
Woolworths staff find it impossible to park because there is no staff parking and they too have to move their cars during their hard earned breaks so they don't incur a fine.
So, I want to campaign for a Resident Parking scheme for all Leura locals, who may need to use their own village at whatever time of day they need to, because they live there.
How would this look?
- Simple - a resident ticket displayed in your car window - it's low cost and easy to administer.
It's the same as the Three Sister's parking scheme.
- It would allow extra time for locals who park on the Mall to attend to whatever their needs are without having to panic at the possibility of a $100+ fine. Alternatively, complete exemption from parking fines for locals is acceptable.
- It would look like a number of 'Resident parking' bays in the council car park at Woolworths that are available to locals so they can be assured a space so they can shop.
- It would have a number of '15 minute parking' bays in the Woolworths car park for those locals who want to pop into their local town for something that they need on a weekend so that they don't have to travel to Katoomba or go without.
If this is a successful scheme, it could be utilised in other areas of the Blue Mountains where local people come second to the tourists visiting the area. Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba and Blackheath also experience this issue to varying degrees.
Whilst we love the tourists, it would be nice to have our needs looked after too.
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