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Lords Place parking limits axed following community and business backlash

July 18, 2023

Fifteen-minute time zones to be scrapped. Copyright: David Fitzsimons.

By David Fitzsimons

Controversial 15-minute parking limits will be axed on Lords Place after an about-face from Orange City Council.

And it was revealed at Tuesday night’s council meeting there has been no interest from anyone wanting to develop the nearby Ophir car park site.

In Lords Place south the 15-minute parallel parks will be replaced by 30-minute limits while the current 30-minute time limits on angle parking will be extended to an hour as part of the latest changes to the troubled CBD strip between Summer and Kite streets.

Council voted to abolish the tight time restrictions after a survey of local businesses showed they were unpopular.

A staff report recommending the changes said 80 percent of businesses surveyed wanted to get rid of the 15-minute limits.

Memories. Parking out the front of Mane Man used to be one-hour, then it went to 15 minutes. Google Street View.

“In short there was minimal support for 15-minute spaces,” it said.

“The respondents were closely divided on 30-minute (limits). There was good support for the return of 1-hour parking in the block.”

It is expected the new limits will come into force by the end of this month.

Councillor Frances Kinghorne said she hoped “we can learn something from this”.

She said local businesses wanted the time limits extended.

“They were the same people who didn’t want it to be reduced in the first place,” she said.

“Essentially, we didn’t get it right.

“I feel that Blind Freddy could see that half-an-hour or 15 minutes was not going to be long enough for a physiotherapist appointment or a haircut or a lot of things.”

Councillor Duffy opposed the motion, saying greater changes were needed.

“Lords Place is an absolute disaster. It is the wrong spot, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

Fifteen-minute time zones to be scrapped. Copyright: David Fitzsimons.

Council technical services director Ian Greenham said car parking vacancies would allow for the time extensions.

He said there were perceptions business owners and staff were taking parking spots in the area instead of customers, which had contributed to the time limits being introduced.

“I’m quite happy to fall on my sword, so to speak, and learn from this experience and change it back to what it was previously,” he said.

Responding to a question from Duffy, council director for corporate and commercial services, Rachelle Robb, said plans for a commercial development of the nearby Ophir car park had not led to any offers.

“We did not receive any complying expressions of interest from that site, to use that site for development,” she said.

Earlier council agreed to fund banners to be flown in the CBD to commemorate Anzac Day over a week.

The banners would feature the names and, where possible, photos of fallen soldiers from the Orange district.

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