Carpark Changes at Westfield Belconnen

OzChick 10 May 2012 43

Just an FYI. I know some people have been caught out by this already.

Westfield Belconnen will move from 3 hours free parking to 2 hours free parking from Monday 7 May 2012. These changes are in line with the major regional shopping centres in the ACT.


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43 Responses to Carpark Changes at Westfield Belconnen
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banco banco 8:26 pm 28 May 12

Just another reason to shop online.

Myles Peterson Myles Peterson 5:52 pm 28 May 12

Friend got slapped with a $15 fee at Woden on the weekend. She won’t be back.

Malls trying to clawback lost retail rents through parking?

HummerBoy HummerBoy 4:56 pm 28 May 12

It is fairly obvious that they put the fees on to stop office workers filling the car park up during the week. They need to remove the after-hours parking fees or increase the time to encourage people come and enjoy themselves. The more time people are in the mall the more they spend. The two hour time limit places a mental barrier in peoples heads so people spend less so as to get away in time. Maybe a bit of public backlash will give them food for thought. Give this Facebook page a Like or a comment and maybe they will reverse the decision.
https://www.facebook.com/FixParkingChargesAtWestfieldBelconnen

Dacquiri Dacquiri 7:59 pm 18 May 12

I assume that Westfield gets regular sales figures from their tenants (I know they do, as they get a % of the takings). It would be very interesting to find out what’s happened since the reduction in free parking time. For what it’s worth, my own shopping habits have changed dramatically, as the time I have left after gym is not sufficient for the supermarket shopping that I used to regularly do there, or for other shopping (clothes, etc.). I now do that elsewhere, where parking is free. Sorry, but, as a consumer, I have an ideological thing about being charged a fee inorder to spend money.

Ko. Ko. 7:52 pm 18 May 12

All of the tickets still say Valid for 3 hours free parking so you could probably get off on a technicality anyway.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 5:50 pm 18 May 12

Dacquiri said :

I wrote to Westfield to complain about the new policy, which makes things difficult for members of gyms located at Westfield Belco (please spare me the snide remarks about ‘that’s what you get for driving to the gym’ stuff — we obviously need to do it for a reason) — we don’t get any extra parking time despite having the ‘sunk costs’ of ongoing membership (ie, we’ve already spent the $).

Westfield’s response to me was as follows: ‘Westfield has implemented these changes to help ensure our customers have every opportunity to secure convenient parking spaces. The majority of shoppers at Westfield Belconnen will continue to not pay for parking as over 81% of customers shop under 2 hours.
The introduction of 2 hours free parking and the rate increase are designed to:

Help ensure more car parks are available for our valued customers as currently our car parks are often at or over capacity at key trading times.

Reduce the misuse of non-genuine shoppers utilising the car park and help increase the number of available car spaces for genuine shoppers.’

I sent the following reply, to which there is as yet no response:

‘Many thanks for your response to my query. I understand that there is a need to encourage a reasonable turnover of parking spaces and to discourage office workers from occupying spaces intended for shoppers. However:

• The current arrangement still results in serious problems for people who need to be at the mall for reasons other than conventional ‘shopping’ – this includes cinema patrons and gym members. It seems to me that if Westfield wants to encourage and support gyms as tenants, they need to take into account members’ needs – today, for example, I will attend a class at Fernwood and do my own workout, but then, rather than staying at Westfield and paying for parking, will leave and do my shopping at Jamison.

For many people, there are limited transport alternatives to private cars. How about providing some? ACTION buses are pretty hopeless in terms of regularity, routes, options for carrying heavy shopping, etc. During the Canberra 2030 – Time to Talk exercise, people in my workshop groups were extremely positive about the idea of dedicated shuttle buses to transport shoppers to major shopping centres. We need to think much more creatively and strategically about transport options which are consistent with the reality of people’s lives.

You have to admit that the idea of paying for the privilege of spending your money at retail outlets is quite strange. It does not generally occur in the USA – indeed, I think there would be a wholesale rebellion among US shoppers if you even suggested it. In the few places overseas where I have seen paid parking for shopping centres, there is a validation system whereby your parking voucher, good for a specified period of time (say, 4 hours), is validated if you make purchases to the value of X dollars. A system like this would ensure that parking spaces are used by genuine shoppers rather than by office workers, or it would at least ensure that office workers also made daily purchases.

‘ The parking issue has been raised elsewhere, too – see, for example: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/westfield-chermside-reaping-profits-from-paid-parking-but-retailers-claim-customers-are-put-off/story-e6freoof-1226300907605

I have also sent an email with exactly the same response. After replying with more logical arguments, i got this – “We appreciate your feedback, and are sorry that we are unable to meet your needs in this instance.
Westfield constantly review our operating procedures and will take into account your feedback during this process, however we will not be amending the recently introduced 2hrs fee free parking at this time.”

To this I responded thus
“Another point I failed to mention to you, is that your competitors [whom you parking is in line with??] do not charge $30 for all day parking nor have a 2 hour limit for free.
– The Gungahlin Marketplace has free parking, undercover and above ground. they also offer the same stores as Westfield.
– The Canberra Center only charges $20 for over 7 hours.
– Elsewhere in Civic the maximum I found for all day parking is $12.
– Tuggeranong Hyperdome has free parking after 6pm on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday!!!
– And your other store – Woden – gives you all day for $2 on Sundays and public holidays, with the option of all day for $8 in the Neptune St. carpark Mon-Fri.

You now have a monopoly on parking in Belconnen after the outdoor carpark that is now becoming the new Belconnen Medical Center got closed.There is still no parity in your claims, you are still ripping off the Belconnen residents and we will certainly be re-assessing our shopping activities in the future.”

I know it won’t get anywhere but at least i tried….

voytek3 voytek3 10:06 am 13 May 12

People actually spend longer than ten minutes in these god forsaken cesspits??

Dacquiri Dacquiri 8:22 pm 11 May 12

I wrote to Westfield to complain about the new policy, which makes things difficult for members of gyms located at Westfield Belco (please spare me the snide remarks about ‘that’s what you get for driving to the gym’ stuff — we obviously need to do it for a reason) — we don’t get any extra parking time despite having the ‘sunk costs’ of ongoing membership (ie, we’ve already spent the $).

Westfield’s response to me was as follows: ‘Westfield has implemented these changes to help ensure our customers have every opportunity to secure convenient parking spaces. The majority of shoppers at Westfield Belconnen will continue to not pay for parking as over 81% of customers shop under 2 hours.
The introduction of 2 hours free parking and the rate increase are designed to:
• Help ensure more car parks are available for our valued customers as currently our car parks are often at or over capacity at key trading times.
• Reduce the misuse of non-genuine shoppers utilising the car park and help increase the number of available car spaces for genuine shoppers.’

I sent the following reply, to which there is as yet no response:

‘Many thanks for your response to my query. I understand that there is a need to encourage a reasonable turnover of parking spaces and to discourage office workers from occupying spaces intended for shoppers. However:

• The current arrangement still results in serious problems for people who need to be at the mall for reasons other than conventional ‘shopping’ – this includes cinema patrons and gym members. It seems to me that if Westfield wants to encourage and support gyms as tenants, they need to take into account members’ needs – today, for example, I will attend a class at Fernwood and do my own workout, but then, rather than staying at Westfield and paying for parking, will leave and do my shopping at Jamison.
• For many people, there are limited transport alternatives to private cars. How about providing some? ACTION buses are pretty hopeless in terms of regularity, routes, options for carrying heavy shopping, etc. During the Canberra 2030 – Time to Talk exercise, people in my workshop groups were extremely positive about the idea of dedicated shuttle buses to transport shoppers to major shopping centres. We need to think much more creatively and strategically about transport options which are consistent with the reality of people’s lives.
• You have to admit that the idea of paying for the privilege of spending your money at retail outlets is quite strange. It does not generally occur in the USA – indeed, I think there would be a wholesale rebellion among US shoppers if you even suggested it. In the few places overseas where I have seen paid parking for shopping centres, there is a validation system whereby your parking voucher, good for a specified period of time (say, 4 hours), is validated if you make purchases to the value of X dollars. A system like this would ensure that parking spaces are used by genuine shoppers rather than by office workers, or it would at least ensure that office workers also made daily purchases.

‘ The parking issue has been raised elsewhere, too – see, for example: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/westfield-chermside-reaping-profits-from-paid-parking-but-retailers-claim-customers-are-put-off/story-e6freoof-1226300907605

Martlark Martlark 7:02 pm 11 May 12

How often would you have to move your car and how long would it take to keep it free? 8 hour day. You’d have to leave every hour and half to have enough time to get to car and out the gates before the two hours is up. Would that take 20 minutes at least? 4 * 20 minutes equals at least one hour and 20 minutes per day not working. You’d have to have a pretty slack workplace or indulgent boss to get away with that each day.

JC JC 5:17 pm 11 May 12

dvaey said :

ww.westfield.com.au/belconnen/getting-here/where-to-park)

Their website seems to have a few confusions…

“Going to the movies? Take your movie and parking ticket to the Hoyts ticket desk to receive one extra hour of parking free from the time of ticket entry. (Total of four hours free from time of ticket entry)”

The prices indicate that from 2hr it costs $2, but apparently ‘one extra hour of parking’ gives you a total of 4hrs? The linked page in the OP claims Hoyts patrons receive 3 hours, but the link from Duffbowl says 4 hours… so is that from the time of the parking ticket or the movie ticket? What if you happened to see a movie that ran for 2.5hrs? Would they expect you to pre-purchase your ticket, arrive 5min before the movie starts (missing the 10min worth of ads), then bolt out of the cinema as soon as the credits roll, to avoid paying for the ticket?

With the extra hour for the cinema looks like they haven’t updated that part of the web page. I take it you have sent an email to them suggesting they fix it?

JC JC 5:15 pm 11 May 12

dvaey said :

Theres an easy solution to this. Have a camera identifying numberplates, such as those use on e-tag lanes. If you enter a carpark, then leave, then try and re-enter the same day, the ticket issued to you should indicate that youve already parked for 2hr 55min. They could then change the system to allow say 5hrs free parking, which would stop the all-day parkers.

Not sure of the reason behind it but the carpark at Paddy’s market in Sydney takes a pic of your number plate and then puts it on the ticket.

I bet however if you lost your ticket they would still charge the max rate despite the system knowing full well when you entered.

But as for this crap at Belco I really do suspect the issue is related to the new all day/monthly parking tickets they have introduced. All crap aside there was never any shortages of car parks at Belconnen during the m-f 9-5 working week, so it must come back to wanting to make a buck rather than reserve for shoppers.

Just noticed on the Westfield page that disabled customers get an extra hour free. Why? I feel discriminated against as an able bodied person.

Duffbowl Duffbowl 3:10 pm 11 May 12

watto23 said :

Going from 3 to 2 hours doesn’t stop the determined public servant. I worked in Woden a few years ago and several public servants would use the fact they don’t smoke as a reason to take time out from work to move their car instead.

Still happens at Woden, and I noted today that it’s now happening at Belco.
I wonder if they deduct the time it takes to move their car, including walking to/from, from their end of day total?

dvaey dvaey 2:56 pm 11 May 12

Duffbowl said :

It’s not $1/hr on a straight line increase.

From their website (http://www.westfield.com.au/belconnen/getting-here/where-to-park)

Their website seems to have a few confusions…

“Going to the movies? Take your movie and parking ticket to the Hoyts ticket desk to receive one extra hour of parking free from the time of ticket entry. (Total of four hours free from time of ticket entry)”

The prices indicate that from 2hr it costs $2, but apparently ‘one extra hour of parking’ gives you a total of 4hrs? The linked page in the OP claims Hoyts patrons receive 3 hours, but the link from Duffbowl says 4 hours… so is that from the time of the parking ticket or the movie ticket? What if you happened to see a movie that ran for 2.5hrs? Would they expect you to pre-purchase your ticket, arrive 5min before the movie starts (missing the 10min worth of ads), then bolt out of the cinema as soon as the credits roll, to avoid paying for the ticket?

I also notice a bit about disabled parking, “Disabled customers can validate their parking tickets for an extra hour at Concierge or Paid parking thus continuing to receive three hours free. Disabled customers will be required to provide their parking permit”

So, you park your car in a disabled spot, then take your disabled permit with you for your extra hours parking… what happens when the inspector comes along and sees you parked without a permit?

The website also suggests that there is free parking after 6pm, and that the carpark closes at 9pm. How does this work when there are some shops open until midnight and K-Mart is open 24hrs?

watto23 watto23 2:39 pm 11 May 12

Going from 3 to 2 hours doesn’t stop the determined public servant. I worked in Woden a few years ago and several public servants would use the fact they don’t smoke as a reason to take time out from work to move their car instead.

Duffbowl Duffbowl 12:43 pm 11 May 12

dvaey said :

Martlark said :

About time. Really annoys me how otherwise moral public servants who would not take a pencil from the office supplies think nothing of diddling a Shopping Centre of $35 of car parking a day.

At a rate of $1/hr, Im curious exactly how you can get a figure of $35 per day? $35/day is almost the cost of short-term parking at the airport.

It’s not $1/hr on a straight line increase.

From their website (http://www.westfield.com.au/belconnen/getting-here/where-to-park)

HOURS PARKED COST

0 – 2.0 FREE
2.0 – 2.5 $2.00
2.5 – 3.0 $3.00
3.0 – 3.5 $4.00
3.5 – 4.0 $5.00
4.0 – 4.5 $6.00
4.5 – 5.0 $8.00
5.0 – 5.5 $10.00
5.5 – 6.0 $10.00
6.0 – 6.5 $12.00
6.5 – 7.0 $12.00
7.0 – 7.5 $20.00
7.5 – 8.0 $25.00
8.0 hours and over $30.00
LOST TICKET $30.00

pink little birdie pink little birdie 12:05 pm 11 May 12

Martlark said :

About time. Really annoys me how otherwise moral public servants who would not take a pencil from the office supplies think nothing of diddling a Shopping Centre of $35 of car parking a day.

Also Westfield belconnen has $8 all day parking Before 9:30 after 4:30 scheme equal to pay paring in the government carparks

dvaey dvaey 11:09 am 11 May 12

JC said :

The shopping centre charges to discourage non shopping centre workers from parking all day for free. In fact I think you will find the whole idea behind the change to 2 hours free is as others have mentioned those parking all day but driving out every few hours.

Theres an easy solution to this. Have a camera identifying numberplates, such as those use on e-tag lanes. If you enter a carpark, then leave, then try and re-enter the same day, the ticket issued to you should indicate that youve already parked for 2hr 55min. They could then change the system to allow say 5hrs free parking, which would stop the all-day parkers.

Martlark said :

About time. Really annoys me how otherwise moral public servants who would not take a pencil from the office supplies think nothing of diddling a Shopping Centre of $35 of car parking a day.

At a rate of $1/hr, Im curious exactly how you can get a figure of $35 per day? $35/day is almost the cost of short-term parking at the airport.

montana montana 10:39 am 11 May 12

thehutch said :

montana said :

Can you actually find a parking spot at belconnen mall these days?

Can you use a parking guidance system?

nice of them to put a guidance system in. no doubt it always says zero parking spots available

Martlark Martlark 7:35 pm 10 May 12

About time. Really annoys me how otherwise moral public servants who would not take a pencil from the office supplies think nothing of diddling a Shopping Centre of $35 of car parking a day.

Golden-Alpine Golden-Alpine 7:21 pm 10 May 12

I was at Belconnen one night to see a movie and as we were leaving I saw a hatch back drive full speed at the boom gate and the boom gate just bounced straight up off his windscreen and the drive kept on going. Wonder how many times he/she has done that.

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