Revitalising Newcastle Program Director, Michael Cassel today announced transport projects underway in Newcastle’s CBD could affect as few as 279 parking spaces, which is just 2.5 per cent of the 11,374 short and long stay parking spaces in the city.
After community feedback, 58 spaces will be returned through design improvements and 138 new spaces on pockets of the former rail corridor could be delivered by Newcastle City Council or private providers.
Mr Cassel said this is a great outcome for Newcastle and shows the NSW Government has been listening to locals.
The Newcastle City Centre Parking Strategy also outlines future policy directions for Council to consider as they plan for the parking needs of our growing city.
Mr Cassel said Newcastle’s future approach to parking needs to support liveability.
“While there are currently around 2,500 empty parking spaces in the city centre at peak parking times, locals have been feeling the pinch because the CBD has been migrating west, but the parking spaces haven’t followed,” Mr Cassel said.
Key recommendations include better use of existing parking, looking at opportunities to increase parking in the CBD’s west, and ‘park and ride’ opportunities to the north and west of the CBD.
Mr Cassel said not addressing parking in a proactive way puts Newcastle at risk of more traffic congestion and frustrated commuters.
“We don’t want this great city to end up in gridlock, or as a parking lot with water views,” Mr Cassel said.
“Soon this city will see improvements to public transport as part of the NSW Government’s half a billion dollar Revitalising Newcastle investment, which will further help alleviate parking pressure.
“With significant transport improvements coming to Newcastle over the next two years, we have an opportunity to transition to a more liveable, connected and sustainable city, rather than allow congestion to become a handbrake on growth.
“Parking policies work best when they align with broader transport initiatives underway and this Strategy identifies ways Council can be proactive when it comes to parking.
The Strategy also highlights car share opportunities for Newcastle, with a single car share vehicle able to replace up to 12 private vehicles that would otherwise compete for local parking and add to traffic congestion.
“With younger and older generations alike starting to embrace new technology and the sharing economy, there are great opportunities to embrace innovations that support productive, liveable and smart cities that attract talent and create jobs.”