The decision by Manly Council this week to retain the two hour free parking in the Manly CBD carparks was simply a farce! If you want to completely kill Manly, take away the free parking.
The real question that should be explored is what benefit would Manly gain if three hours free parking was introduced, just like the competing shopping areas nearby.
Yes, Manly is unique. It is not just shops. It's also beaches, schools, classes, community activities, a social meeting place. And locals are staying away in droves because it's just getting too hard to visit, and park in Manly. Two hours is simply not long enough.Those who do park here are constantly looking at their watches to make sure they don't go over the two hours!
Council's figures show that 80% of people who use the car parks stay for two hours. Yes, $1.2m is generated by the 3rd hour but I wonder how much business is being lost because people are rushing back to move their car rather than ordering that extra coffee, popping into a shop or calling into the newsagent for example.
What do you think? Is it time to review our parking approach in Manly?
Would three hours free parking encourage you to come back to Manly? Do our Poll. Add your comment.
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.