A storm is brewing in Manly over the Northern Beaches Council’s proposal to cancel the Manly Resident Card which provides three hours free parking for residents in the Council’s CBD car parks.
Former Manly Councillor and Good For Manly President, Candy Bingham, is campaigning against the move claiming it is unfair to Manly residents and that local businesses rely on locals, not just tourists, for their survival.
“Manly CBD is our local shopping centre but the council car parks only provide two hours free parking not 3 hours like its competitors at Stocklands, Warringah Mall and all other shopping centres on the peninsula”, Candy Bingham explained.
The introduction of an additional free hour parking for locals was a Good For Manly initiative which became the Manly Resident Card four years ago.
The purpose was to support our local businesses as it was found that two hours free parking was not adequate nor competitive.
For example we have a large number of hair, nail & beauty salons in Manly. It can take 2.5 hours to get your hair done which means that locals need to pay for the third hour parking, which costs $12.50. An expensive haircut!
“We have large communities of swimmers who like to stay for coffee and breakfast; volunteers at the Library and Community Centre; friends meeting for shopping and lunch, all of which require more than two hours”, Mrs Bingham said.
The Chamber of Commerce has come out in support of retaining the third hour free for locals saying their business is vital to the viability of most retailers in Manly.
The Northern Beaches Council argues that the Manly Resident Card is not equitable, and is costing the Council $100,000 a year in lost revenue.
However, this revenue estimate is challenged by parking expert and former CEO of Wilson Parking, Craig Smith, who says that research shows that locals resent paying for parking that they believe they are entitled to. “They would rather leave than pay $12.50 for an extra hour, or simply not come to Manly at all”, he said.
“One way to make the Card more equitable and cost effective for the council would be to charge a nominal annual fee for the card, which can only be used once a day. Only one card is available per household.
“The technology required to accept the card at the four Manly Car Parks is already in place and operating effectively. I hope the Council will review its decision and retain the Card albeit for an annual renewable fee”, Mrs Bingham said.
Around 1,600 people obtained a Manly Resident Card from the former Manly Council, which then charged a one-off fee of $40.00. These cards are still valid for another six months only.
A copy of Good For Manly's submission to Council to retain the card is below.
Do you use a Manly Resident Parking Card?
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.