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Pay parking background

Current parking demand means that parking spaces in Byron Bay town centre are at or near capacity every day.

Byron Shire Council resolved again on 13 August 2015 to introduce a pay parking scheme for the Byron Bay town centre from December 2015. The new parking scheme will be based upon vehicle number plates and will apply to the Byron Bay town centre as marked out below in pink on the map. 

Find out more at Frequently Asked Questions.

Key components of the new scheme are:

  • A universal $3 per hour parking rate 9am to 6pm seven days per week
  • 4 hour parking areas to be charged at $3 per hour and capped at $10.
  • Creation of a new 260 space all-day car park at the Butler Street Reserve to be available from 6am to 6pm seven days per week with rates of $3 per hour and capped at $20 per day.
  • Creation of new all-day car parks at Clarkes Beach car park, Jonson Street (south of Kingsley Street) and on street east of Middleton Street – fees to be capped at $20 per day.
  • Byron Shire residents will be eligible to purchase an annual parking fee exemption entitlement at $50 per vehicle. There will be no cost for residents with a Centrelink card (blue).
  • Non-Byron resident workers employed within the designated paid parking area will be eligible to purchase an annual parking fee exemption entitlement at $100 per vehicle subject to providing verification of their employment.
  • Special provisions for volunteers.

Why has Council decided to introduce pay parking to Byron Bay?

The pay parking scheme is a key element of our Fit for the Future Council Improvement Program has a two significant benefits for Council and the community:

  • improved usage of car parking spaces in the town centre which will make it easier for us to find a park.
  • substantial financial gains with a potential $2 million plus each year that can be used to improve ageing and provide new infrastructure. 

With little state government funding support available for Council, we have to raise revenue ourselves to fix our ageing infrastructure throughout the Shire. Plus, finding a car park is a daily struggle. Pay parking is part of the solution.

Pay parking will aim to assist with the challenge of finding a car park in the busy town centre. With additional new car spaces coming on-line and discounted parking rates available on the perimeter of the pay parking area, the incentives will encourage motorists to park a little further out and therefore ease pressure on the town centre.

Local Government in NSW is undergoing significant reform and all councils are required to demonstrate how they will become financially viable so as to become FIT FOR THE FUTURE and avoid the possibility of amalgamation. Council is therefore required to generate significant new revenue streams in order to increase expenditure on critical infrastructure such as roads and meet new government performance benchmarks.

Additional revenue generated by paid parking, of up to $2.7M per year, will also help Council to upgrade public facilities in Byron Bay such as toilets, the foreshore precinct, playgrounds, street furniture, garden beds and landscaping and will provide a new source of funds to help to implement many of the recommendations to flow from the Byron Bay Town Centre Master Plan.

A significant proportion of the revenue generated from pay parking will primarily come from the 900,000+ day trippers who visit Byron Bay each year. Alternative funding sources proposed by some residents such as a Bed Tax or creating Ewingsdale Road into a toll road, have neither legal basis or state government support at this time.

Pay parking is now the norm in areas that have high visitations and for Byron Bay, these are funds that our community needs. From March 2015 tourism statistics, we know our area has over 900,000 day trippers each year with a total of 1.5 million visitors. Whilst the solid tourism figures are good for our local economy, we also have significant impacts on our infrastructure from visitors.

Plus from the parking study conducted, changes in parking behaviour are expected that will lead to greater parking turnover and better utilisation of existing supply. Improved parking turnover will save Council investing limited funds into building more car parks.

Back in July 2014, Byron Shire Council had input from over 1,000 people on pay parking (Consultation Report - Byron Bay Parking Study).  Findings included that if parking was to be charged for on-street parking in the town centre, then a different rate should apply for locals; locals were not supportive of paying the same as visitors.

Find out more at Frequently Asked Questions.