Pay-by-plate parking to end light rail freeloading at Gungahlin Village

Ian Bushnell 2 July 2020 73
Gungahlin Village

The light rail terminus, with Gungahlin Village at right. Photo: File.

Light rail commuters be warned: the days of all-day free parking at Gungahlin Village Shopping Centre are coming to an end.

Plans have been lodged for ticketless ‘pay-by-plate’ parking at the Wilson-operated multi-level car park on the corner of Hinder and Efkarpidis Streets, and one of the key reasons for its introduction, according to the development application, is the number of tram travellers using it as a free ‘park and ride’ station.

The DA says the new system will ensure that patrons using the car park are likely to use it for its intended use – shopping at the shopping centre.

“Visitors and shoppers retain access to convenient car parking, with the new car parking system facilitating efficient vehicle movements into and out of the site,” it says.

Transport Canberra’s nearby Park and Ride is located at Gozzard Street, with entry from Efkarpidis Street, and has 114 spaces.

The four levels of parking at Gungahlin Village, including basement and rooftop, provide 599 spaces and commuter parking is taking spaces away from shoppers and staff.

At present, it is open Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.30 pm, and provides two hours’ free parking after which a $65 breach notice can be incurred. However, enforcement is an issue, with the operators having no simple way of telling which vehicles have overstayed and not being able to obtain vehicle registration details.

The Gungahlin Village car park

The Gungahlin Village car park (marked in red). Image: Development application.

The DA says enforcement, presumably by parking inspectors, is not a sustainable, long-term solution.

Number plate recognition technology will allow free parking for two hours or less, after which patrons will be charged a progressively upward staged fee.

The works involve the installation of bollards, boom gates and cameras at entrances and exits, as well as payment machines.

Basement, Ground and Level 1 will be open to customers, while Level 2 will cater for customer overflow and staff parking, and the Rooftop will be reserved for centre staff only.

The DA says shopping centre staff and other special persons will have access to the boom gate on Level 2, which will have a tap-and-go facility.

But opening hours will be extended, with the first three levels open 7:00 am to midnight, and the other two until 10:00 pm.

A total of six car spaces will be removed, five from the basement at the Efkarpidis Street entrance to allow for the boom gate and one car space at Level 2 to accommodate infrastructure for ticketless parking.

Public comment is open until 15 January 2020.

It will be interesting to see if the new arrangements have an impact on light rail use or whether Transport Canberra decides to increase Park and Ride facilities in the Town Centre.


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73 Responses to Pay-by-plate parking to end light rail freeloading at Gungahlin Village
TT_Rexon TT_Rexon 12:31 pm 02 Jan 20

I’m getting tired of this government, time to vote a new one in.

    JC JC 11:04 pm 02 Jan 20

    What’s the government got to do with this exactly?

Steven Kuzmanoski Steven Kuzmanoski 10:07 pm 31 Dec 19

Why do ACT gov't keep selling out to Wilson?

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:56 am 01 Jan 20

    Steven Kuzmanoski not one carpark in Canberra has been sold to Wilson’s by the government or by anyone for that matter. So your point is what exactly?

    Clearly you and going by other comments here fail to understand how “it works”.

    Firstly Wilson’s don’t generally OWN carparks, someone else does. In this case it is the Gungahlin Village shopping centre.

    The owner of the carpark then contracts out the management of that carpark to companies like Wilson. There are others too like Secure who run the Canberra centre carpark. That company then installs the payment system and patrols the carpark issuing notices to those who fail to abide by the conditions of parking, which as we know in Canberra is hard to enforce.

    As for the carpark in question it is one that is already managed by Wilson’s and it is one where staying greater than 2 hours isn’t free. But as there are no boom gates people it seem stay all day. So the only change is boom gates to stop people essentially stealing from the carpark owner. Who isn’t Wilson’s.

Jackson Bond Jackson Bond 5:11 pm 31 Dec 19

This 'free' car-park was quoted in the plans for the cinema across the road and was the reason it was allowed to go ahead with almost no parking spaces. The cinema development application now needs to be revisted to take this into account.

John Wilson John Wilson 10:08 am 31 Dec 19

Just ride and park your bike near the station. Go electric if you must!

    Sharee Schultz Sharee Schultz 10:22 am 31 Dec 19

    John Wilson not everyone can do this.

    I just bought an electric bike but they are not cheap. Not everyone can afford this option. Also, I am now too scared to leave it anywhere, as there is so many thieves around.

    John Wilson John Wilson 1:51 pm 31 Dec 19

    Most people ... if they are continuing their journey by rail, can ride a bicycle a few k's, regardless of age. The Europeans have been doing it for ages and Australians also used to get around by bicycle before we were convinced the motor vehicle was some form of evolutionary advancement, even for a trip down to the local shops. You're right, lock up shelters are probably needed!

    Sharee Schultz Sharee Schultz 5:18 pm 31 Dec 19

    John Wilson I am lucky to only live 10kms from work, so I don’t have to lock my bike up. That is not suitable for everyone & to loose a $4,000+ bike to a thief is a risk I would not take. How would lock up shelters work if anyone can enter?

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 6:53 pm 31 Dec 19

    Sharee Schultz Cheaper than buying a car.

Brian Woodbridge Brian Woodbridge 9:33 am 31 Dec 19

If you want to complain, contact both the elected member and the person who wants their job, never only one.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:11 am 31 Dec 19

    Brian Woodbridge complain about what exactly?

    That a privately owned shopping centre wants to stop people ignoring their terms and conditions and are putting in measures to make sure that they do? Because that’s what the article is about.

    Brian Woodbridge Brian Woodbridge 2:09 pm 31 Dec 19

    Ashley Wright I said if.. you sound like a government spin doctor. 🤔

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:16 am 01 Jan 20

    Brian Woodbridge just stating the truth.

    Reading these comments shows how little people know.

Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 9:20 am 31 Dec 19

The Wanniassa shops with Coles (and a nearby Park and Ride) is having exactly the same issue. Twice before Xmas the entire shops Car Park was full, but not from shoppers. The spaces were taken by people who now have to drive to the R4 bus because the Wanniassa/Kambah surburban services have been removed or re-routed. ACT Government are only adding an extra 30 spaces to the park and ride, but that won’t go even close to coping with the numbers of cars.

Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 9:00 am 31 Dec 19

Looks like I won’t be shopping at gungahlin anymore - Wilson car parks say it’s to deter people parking all day - I call bs- Wilson’s are only concerned with profit -

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:37 am 31 Dec 19

    Nell Feneck actually Wilson’s don’t make profit off the parking. The owner of the carpark does and they pay Wilson to provide the payment systems and “enforcement”.

    And even if Wilson’s did own it why shouldn’t they be allowed to be worried about profit?

John Moulis John Moulis 4:08 am 31 Dec 19

How were they able to get free parking? I thought that carpark – like the others – was first 2 hours free then you pay. How did the boom gate open when they had overstayed past 2 hours?

    JC JC 9:20 am 01 Jan 20

    No boom gates at this carpark and of course people know they can more less ignore those limits as Wilson’s cannot chase them for the fee for overstaying.

    The marketplace at Gungahlin does have boom gates though.

    The DA is for the installation of boom gates with number plate recognition to do exactly what you suggest.

Darron Marks Darron Marks 3:50 am 31 Dec 19

If residents of Gungahlin that are concerned about parking could please contact their Local Labor/Liberal/Greens MLA about this issue.

We have been trying to get the ACT Government to commit to better plan for parking in connection with public transport for residents of Gungahlin. The official response from Transport Canberra is that the days of open air "all day" parking in the Gungahlin CBD is not something they are interested in including in any future planning.

They have also consistently avoided identifying any permanent locations for park and ride facilities in the future in the Gungahlin CBD. Questions are taken on notice but they have not yet responded with any locations on the all day or permanent Park and Ride facilities.

The consistent complaint given by Gungahlin residents is that the current "temporary" park and ride and all day parking facility (that is located on land behind Big W is earmarked for later development) is too small and is often full very early in the morning.

I am aware of your concern but you need to speak with your local MLA and planning minister. Because I can tell you that so far this question you are asking about has been largely ignored by ACT planning officials.

Ray Ez Ray Ez 1:12 am 31 Dec 19

yeah! Light rail is good for everyone!

Claudine Norton Claudine Norton 11:06 pm 30 Dec 19

Why don’t hey have smaller ‘buses’ going by bus stops more regularly....oh no, they want people to ride bikes everywhere all the time!! (Not practical in our winter or summer) 😐

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:30 am 31 Dec 19

    Claudine Norton that was the whole idea behind the bus route changes that coincided with light rail opening. More frequent buses in the burbs feeding into rapids, one of which is the lightrail.

    Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 9:25 am 31 Dec 19

    Ashley Wright You say "The whole idea behind the bus route changes was more frequent buses in the burbs feeding into the rapids" Why then are there less bus routes in the suburbs and the suburban buses don't come as often as they used to???? The ACT Government has done the exact opposite of what you claim.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:36 am 31 Dec 19

    Jeff Smith there are less routes that is for sure but the buses do actually come MORE often (weekends aside where there are more routes and the reason why they are less often is very well publicised.

    In the past most suburban routes off peak weekday were every 40 minutes with some every 30 now it is almost universal every 30 minutes with those converted to rapids mostly every 15.

    Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 11:00 am 31 Dec 19

    Ashley Wright You've been the number one fanboy of the new bus network since day 1. But to claim there are more buses more often in the suburbs is crazy. You can't just cherry pick 'off peak' times for some areas as proof. It's time for you to finally admit that a lot of suburban Canberra has much worse bus services then before.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 2:20 pm 31 Dec 19

    Jeff Smith and you cherry pick the exceptions with a lower frequency.

    But I am afraid the facts back up what I’ve been saying. There are more buses on the road and the frequencies are higher.

    And by the way I’ve been critical of the new bus network too, to me the biggest issue is the dropping of the peak hour expresses.

    Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 12:20 pm 01 Jan 20

    Ashley Wright The 'facts' don't back up what you are saying at all. There was reportedly over 700 suburban bus stops removed. Less suburban areas are covered by bus services than previously. Suburban bus use has dropped, with only rapid bus use increasing according to statistics. If you really believe what you say, you should be concerned that suburban bus use has declined despite your claim that 'people now have extra services in the suburbs'. Even minister Fitzharris said suburban buses were being removed to focus on the Rapid routes. But yet you still keep telling us how great the new bus network is and that there are more buses in the suburbs.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:18 am 02 Jan 20

    Jeff Smith I’ll start from the back. I haven’t been saying how great the bus network is what I do constantly say is what I’ve said in my first post here that I understand what they are trying to achieve with the new network. Is it perfect no, has ridership gone up across the board yes.

    As for the number of services it is a fact the number of buses and services have gone up. I didn’t say where those services were and you are right many are on rapids. But it is a fact the number of services has gone up. It is also fact that most suburban routes are now mostly every 30 minutes rather than every 40 or 60 that most were before with a few at 30 minute intervals

    Im not commenting on whether those service meets your needs. That is a different issue to the facts which is there are more buses on the road than before, more services and that across the board usage has gone up.

Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:11 pm 30 Dec 19

Going by the comments it seems that many cannot read or comprehend the article properly.

The carpark in question is the one at the shopping centre where Coles is located. It is a privately owned carpark for the customers of the shopping centre. The owners are putting up boom gates to stop free loaders taking their spots whilst they get the tram to work.

The government park and ride still exists and is still free!

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 3:36 am 31 Dec 19

    The Government park and ride does have restrictions you must have a permit and have a minimum amount on your myway card.

    Parking is also limited in spots and the consistent complaint is that these spots are often too few and that the entire all day car park is over crowded.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:47 am 31 Dec 19

    Darron Marks yeah there are conditions and those conditions are put in place to help prevent the same issue the shopping centre is facing which is people not using them for their intended purposes.

    And for Gungahlin at least there is also the “carpark” diagonally opposite the post office too which has none of these restrictions.

    Sharee Schultz Sharee Schultz 7:12 am 31 Dec 19

    Ashley Wright as Darron has mentioned numerous times, the current land where the Park & Ride currently is, will eventually be sold for development.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:12 am 31 Dec 19

    Sharee Schultz and? Doesn’t change the fact that it still exists and it is free which is the point I was making.

    And even if the current one is developed which would be inevitable there are others including a new large one that is in planning but that is at Well Station Drive which is a more logical place anyway.

    Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 8:41 am 31 Dec 19

    Basically people are disenchanted with a government that can't plan. Stage 2A light rail fiasco for example.

Catie Sea Catie Sea 9:47 pm 30 Dec 19

Getting really sick of not being able to park at my own house due to train travellers pinching all the parking spots...

Steve Wood Steve Wood 8:46 pm 30 Dec 19

Wilsons what a surprise...

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:58 pm 30 Dec 19

    Steve Wood you do realise that Wilson’s don’t actually own the carpark? It is owned by who ever it is that owns that shopping centre and they contract out to companies like Wilson.

    And frankly if you were the owner of the shopping centre why wouldn’t you be trying to keep the carpark for its intended purpose which is for your shoppers. Not for people to park for free and get the tram n

    Steve Wood Steve Wood 12:37 pm 31 Dec 19

    Ashley Wright independent canberra business maybe?? At least keep the money in the ACT...

Stu Williams Stu Williams 8:12 pm 30 Dec 19

Michael Gentleman the ACT Govt should be building large multi-storey car parks just for MyWay card holders. Your card let’s you in, to prevent free loaders, for a small fee of maybe $2-3 for the day. The same card is then used for the light rail or bus to work and back. Build the car parks at every major hub in Belconnen, Gungahlin, City, Woden, Tuggeranong. Cars stay in the areas people live.

    Louis Sotiropoulos Louis Sotiropoulos 9:09 pm 30 Dec 19

    Stu Williams you would have thought they would've done that as part of the build. One at gungahlin and one at epic

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:53 pm 30 Dec 19

    Louis Sotiropoulos there is one at EPIC and they are planning another at the Well Station Drive stop. That park and ride was always on the plans which is why the stop is on the Mitchel side of the intersection but houses on the other. And for now there is still the free park and ride at Gungahlin which isn’t impacted by what this article is talking about.

    Lexie Donald Lexie Donald 9:55 pm 30 Dec 19

    Stu Williams park n ride

    Free all over the world

    Except the ACT...

    Andrew Kristoffersen Andrew Kristoffersen 10:51 pm 30 Dec 19

    NSW transport park and rides use boom gates, you tap your opal card to enter then take a trip on the opal network and then tap to leave the carpark. There's no fee for opal card users that have a valid trip for that day and don't spend more than 18 hours in the carpark otherwise there is a steep $30 weekday rate and $10 public holiday and weekend rate.

    I think it's a more than useful idea to make it free for those using public transport and charge those who don't use public transport.

    Simon Wheaton Simon Wheaton 1:44 am 31 Dec 19

    Leave the car at home, catch the bus. Cars stay in the areas people live.

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 3:32 am 31 Dec 19

    Stu Williams even the current park are ride in Gungahlin isn't permanent it is located on land that is going to be sold for development at a later stage.

    Every time we have asked Transport Canberra or the ACT Government to indicate "permanent" locations for parking in the Gungahlin CBD we get the run around and questions taken on notice.

    From my experience the ACT Government is only interested in selling land for development. They do not seem to regard land being reserved for all day parking for public transport users to be a priority at all in their planning for Gungahlin.

    Sharee Schultz Sharee Schultz 7:07 am 31 Dec 19

    Ashley Wright where the current park & ride is located at Gungahlin will not remain a parking lot forever.

    Sharee Schultz Sharee Schultz 7:09 am 31 Dec 19

    Simon Wheaton that is not always possible!

    Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 9:01 am 31 Dec 19

    Stu Williams that idea would mean our gov had a brain - and they don’t - not very bright at all

    Michael Pettersson MLA Michael Pettersson MLA 12:41 pm 01 Jan 20

    The ACT Government is building a new park and ride facility at Well Station Road. It didn’t get a lot of media attention when funding was announced in the 2019 budget.

    It’s not in the town centre but ultimately if people are using it for light rail commuting it should work out the same for commuters.

    It’s referenced at the bottom of this article:

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6199554/older-buses-driven-off-and-a-new-rail-stop-for-mitchell/

    Michael Pettersson MLA Michael Pettersson MLA 12:43 pm 01 Jan 20

    Stu Williams

    Stu Williams Stu Williams 8:44 pm 01 Jan 20

    Patoneym Myenotap at least I’m trying to find an answer

    Mick Golledge Mick Golledge 10:37 am 02 Jan 20

    Stu Williams this is exactly what they do in Adelaide.

Chanelle Taylor Chanelle Taylor 8:00 pm 30 Dec 19

I hope they're also going to increase the amount of park and ride spaces and improve the carpark overall, including removing hazardous metal pipes sticking out of the ground, getting rid of the potholes everywhere, and maybe put some trees in to offer some shade.

Zrinka Bebek Zrinka Bebek 7:31 pm 30 Dec 19

Just curious if the ACT gov will be building a parking facility free of charge to get people using the tram and not congesting roads? The travellers are slugged at parking stations including the tram. Where is the incentive to use the tram rather than drive?

    Jerome Boland Jerome Boland 7:33 pm 30 Dec 19

    Park n Ride is available at Gungahlin. There is also other free parking around.

    Holly Bevan Holly Bevan 8:06 pm 30 Dec 19

    There already is one

    Zrinka Bebek Zrinka Bebek 8:08 pm 30 Dec 19

    Jerome Boland an undercover car park? If so, awesome, where?

    Ryan Daniel Ryan Daniel 8:18 pm 30 Dec 19

    Zrinka Bebek Naa it’s a gravel car park with maybe 2 or 3 rows of parking for park and ride. Isn’t that big.

    Carl S Carl S 10:37 pm 30 Dec 19

    The Gungahlin town centre services a pretty large area. Is the existing Park n Ride carpark sufficient or will it run out before it even hits 8am if they start charging for other carparks?

    Redmond Herrington Redmond Herrington 4:54 am 31 Dec 19

    Email your local MLA with these kinds of concerns and questions

    Ryan Daniel Ryan Daniel 6:38 am 31 Dec 19

    Carl S it already definitely runs out well before 8:30

    Sharee Schultz Sharee Schultz 7:15 am 31 Dec 19

    Jerome Boland the current Park & Ride is small and that land will eventually be sold for development, as with the other free parking areas.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:14 am 31 Dec 19

    Zrinka Bebek they are building one at the Well Station Drive stop. It should have been there from day 1 but better late than never.

    There is also one at EPIC that rarely has more than 20 cars but can hold about 100.

Andrew Kristoffersen Andrew Kristoffersen 7:29 pm 30 Dec 19

You mean I'm parking in the park and ride near Gozzard street like a simpleton when I could be parking undercover for free?

With all the stages of the village I'm sure future improvement could achieved by redeveloping existing parking around Gungahlin and remove all the stupid short intersections to make easy flowing traffic.

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 7:27 pm 30 Dec 19

A Government of the People for Not the People.

Denise Smith Denise Smith 7:18 pm 30 Dec 19

I thought that was the idea of the tram, it dosent go through the suburbs so how are people suppose to get to it.

    Kate Carey Kate Carey 7:25 pm 30 Dec 19

    Denise Smith the bus...

    Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 7:31 pm 30 Dec 19

    Kate Carey not when we used to be able to catch 1 bus all the way to city, now it takes longer then previously.

    Simon Wheaton Simon Wheaton 1:49 am 31 Dec 19

    Marc Edwards it might take longer, but that is how people are supposed to get to it.

    John Wilson John Wilson 2:41 pm 31 Dec 19

    By bike .. scooter .. skateboard .. on foot.

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