Parking meters in Footscray and Yarraville may be switched back on next year after Maribyrnong council adopted a long-awaited paid parking policy.
The council has lost close to $5 million in revenue since it stopped paid parking in Yarraville and central Footscray two years ago.
Councillors last week adopted a redrafted Destination Parking Management Policy, 18 months after a previous draft of the policy was voted down by the former council for being too vague.
The policy requires the preparation of “parking management precinct plans” across Maribyrnong over a number of years, prioritised according to the size and business of each precinct.
Parking fees will only be considered once demand exceeds 85 per cent of capacity and time or use restrictions have already been applied.
“Fee controls will be introduced only where the time and/or use restrictions have been unsuccessful in restoring occupancy to the desirable range,” the policy states.
The 2015 parking meter freeze followed a sustained campaign by Yarraville businesses against council’s plan to introduce paid parking to the area, with vandals smashing a number of the machines.
The saga led to a Yarraville resident assaulting two councillors after a fiery council meeting.
Councillors voted to switch off Yarraville’s parking meters after only three months of operation and turned off central Footscray’s machines at the same time.
A joint Melbourne University and Monash University study last year found takings by Yarraville traders dropped an average of 24 per cent after paid parking was introduced.
The council has been losing an estimated $200,000 each month the machines are switched off.
In moving a motion to adopt the policy, councillor Gina Huynh said the evidence of the need for a better strategy was causing her to back down from her election promise of making parking free across Maribyrnong.
Cr Sarah Carter said her view had always been that the Yarraville meters had been rushed in without proper study or consultation.