Footscray parking meters will be switched back on this month for the first time since 2015.
Maribyrnong Council announced on Friday that paid parking will be reintroduced from June 24 after parking sensors installed last year found the occupancy of parking spaces in the precinct exceeded 85 per cent – a trigger for the return of parking fees.
Parking meters are being removed from Yarraville and re-installed in Footscray as part of the plan.
Yarraville traders have welcomed the removal of the area’s ill-fated parking meters, almost four years after they were introduced.
Work began last week on the long-awaited removal of the meters, which have been switched off since just a few months after being turned on.
Traders in Yarraville village were vehemently opposed to the introduction of paid parking, arguing it had been ill-planned and poorly implemented.
Trevor Junge from the Yarraville Trader’s Association said the traders wanted to thank the local community for standing up for local businesses in their campaign to have the meters deactivated and removed.
“I think it should be a message of hope to all strip shopping precincts that have to compete against the shopping malls and plazas that are owned and operated by multinational companies – that our communities want us and need us,” he said.
“Putting in ill-thought through barriers to ‘fix’ a problem that isn’t there, or to diversify council income, shouldn’t and won’t always win.”
Mr Junge said the money spent on purchasing, installing and maintaining the meters could have been spent on the needs of the local community.
Maribyrnong council has foregone at least $8 million in revenue since placing a freeze on parking fees in central Footscray and Yarraville.
In 2017 it adopted a new Destination Parking Management Policy, involving “parking management precinct plans” across Maribyrnong.