HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition pushing for a permanent solution to the lack of parking spaces in the court house precinct in Central Maitland.
The petition, which contained 388 signatures, called on Maitland City Council and Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison to work together to “resolve the parking problems” in the precinct.
It pushed for council to reserve at least 20 two-hour spaces near the court house “to enable citizens to attend court and other business in the area”.
Petition coordinator Barry Ross, who has a doctors surgery on Sempill Street, said the petition was sparked by dozens of complaints by patients.
“I’ve had the medical practice for 32 years and during that time, mostly we have enjoyed easy parking for our patients,” Dr Ross said.
“But over that time, the court has become busier and we also have had the arrival of a couple of call centres in the area which has put a lot of extra pressure on parking in the court house precinct.”
As a result of the petition, councillors unanimously voted to acknowledge it and pass it onto consultants working on a Central Maitland parking study.
Last year, council voted to conduct a review of parking in the CBD after The Levee and Stockland Green Hills developments were complete. The study will look at location, access and distribution of long and short term parking needs in the area.
Dr Ross added he was pleased by the response from council over the parking problems.
“The court house parking is filling up with the spaces being taken up close to the court house because it’s closer to the call centres,” he said.
“It’s an inconvenience for people using the court house, us and other businesses in the area. We all know there is a bit of a parking problem in Maitland."
Consultants are currently working on the review.
“It is good to see that these considerations will be considered as part of the larger investigation into parking in Central Maitland,” Labor councillor Ben Whiting added.
The update was sparked after Independent councillor Philip Penfold – who campaigned for a multi-level car park in the CBD as part of his mayoral candidacy – put forward a question with notice last month.
It is anticipated the parking study will be completed by July 2019.