If Manningham is genuinely concerned about relieving the pressure on the 400 parking spaces available at the Park and Ride facility, which also caters for City bound commuters from neighbouring Boroondara area, it must provide alternative areas for long stay parking. One method could be to allow long stay parking in side streets adjacent to the Doncaster Road Bus route such as what is currently being extended to construction vehicles associated with apartment development.
A multi deck car park at Park and Ride needs to be erected as soon as possible especially if a future rail line is to be
constructed along the freeway centre strip. An early plan for two “communal” parking stations to be built on Doncaster Hill might have eased the burden on Park and Ride.
Studies had shown there was a need to provide at least two satellite parking stations on Doncaster Hill to cater for visitors to the area in addition to Bus commuters, shoppers and to accommodate parking overspill from high rise developments encroaching into residential streets. Unfortunately the plan for the two extra parking stations was shelved due to the high cost of procuring the land and the difficulty for council in finding an operator.
The introduction of parking fees by Westfield was accepted as a way of deterring bus passengers from using the shopping centre as a “park and ride”. Council should have know of this plan ahead of time when it was claiming in answers to questions about parking that there was extensive free parking available at both Westfield and the Civic Centre.
While council’s expressed overall aim for Doncaster Hill is to encourage the use of public transport and discourage the reliance on private cars, the amount of off-street long-stay parking is virtually non existent. One suggestion by a Manningham consultant was “The discouragement of car ownership is also important and can be achieved by reminding owners of the real cost of owning a car”.
After years council bureaucrats using spin, “independent” experts appear to have also manipulated data to confuse and distract councillors, to the extent that there is an urgent need for public debate about the appalling lack of transparency in Manningham’s so-called planned input into past the parking surveys. One example of this was the continual referral to privately owned land on the corner of Whittens Lane and Doncaster Road as an area of public unresticted off street parking.