Inner west businesses receive a leg up - Council turning off parking meters at night

The new Inner West Council has approved a plan to turn parking meters off at 7:00pm every night in Leichhardt, Balmain and Rozelle.

The reduction in the parking meter hours is part of suite of initiatives being taken by the Council to breathe life into the area’s dining and cultural precincts.

Council also committed to no new parking meters being introduced across the Inner West and is investigating extending 30 minute free parking to all meters.

Inner West Mayor, Darcy Byrne, said the change to the parking meters will send a clear message to visitors and residents that the area is open for business.

“We must bring back the hustle and bustle in the area and re-establish the vibrant main streets the inner west has always been famous for,” Darcy Byrne said.

“The truth is Norton Street and Darling Street both need a shot in the arm and turning the parking meters off at night could be the catalyst for the revival of these precincts.

“Council’s all over Sydney have become addicted to parking meter revenue but it’s time for us all to kick the habit.

“I’d like to see other councils, like the City of Sydney, follow our lead and turn their meters off. Together we can help bring Sydney’s night economy back to life.”

“As an extension of this policy, Council officers will compile a detailed report which will assess additional policies for improving main-street parking across the inner West Council area in its entirety.”

The report will explore the viability of extending the current 30-minute free parking on main streets, introduced by Byrne as Mayor of Leichhardt, to all meters in the former Leichhardt Municipality.

Bar Italia, a classic Norton Street eatery is one of many businesses that will benefit from the reduced parking meters hours.

Owner, Con Damouras, welcomed the announcement, praising the Council for their ongoing efforts to revitalise the area and for working directly with local businesses and residents throughout the decision making process.

“Our customers regularly complain about the parking situation and our red wine and gelato can only go so far in relieving their frustrations” said Con Damouras.

“Cost of living is so high in Sydney – people simply can’t afford to fork out additional money on parking, so we are finding people are going elsewhere, like Concord, where there are no parking meters at all.

“This policy will be a massive relief for businesses in the area – customers will no longer have to rush and can soak up the entire experience,” said Con Damouras.

The changes to the parking meter hours will come into effect as quickly as possible following consultation with businesses and residents and a final implementation plan being reported to Council.

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