Hobart’s parking meter fiasco

A Hobart parking meter … cost a fortune to set up, and probably costing another fortune in lost business for Hobart CBD retailers

Enjoy Tasmania (ET) had a post on here titled “Hobart’s parking mafia” that was a dig at Hobart’s bombers nailing shoppers almost the minute after a parking metre expires. We explained how this could turn people off shopping in the CBD, especially when online shopping is an easy alternative.

ET deleted the post because we thought perhaps it was a bit snippy, as the council must raise revenue after all.

Our latest experience in Hobart, backed by comments from other shoppers/parkers, along with staff in a Hobart department store – demonstrates that the parking problem is worse than our original post outlined.

Firstly, many of the CBD meters run for only an hour. That’s if you can get them to work at all.

Our ET staffer ran back to their meter after failing to find the clothing needed in a CBD store, to feed the meter more money. Trying to do this proved frustrating, until a passing parking attendant advised that you can not “top up” a meter, you have to physically move your car to another bay and start again.

The next meter used declined a credit card twice, and then a different credit card, so our staffer let someone else have a go, and they too were declined.

A third person tried and was accepted. The second person then used coins and was accepted. Our staffer tried again with a card and was finally accepted. This process, including finding a new park, took almost an hour.

Even then, it was another mad rush to try on clothes in the stores before the hour was up.

Yes, there are dedicated Hobart carparks, but they are no good if you have a roof rack on a 4WD, as many rural people do.

Those we spoke to found the meters unpleasant to use. Store staff confirmed that shoppers found the one-hour limit and inability to top up frustrating.

The council has spent its money and is stuck with the system, but surely two changes can be implemented. Make the meters run two hours so people can at least shop without running. They might spend more money that way.

Secondly, let people top up a meter, even if the top up price goes up. Having to move the vehicle is ridiculous and just adds to the traffic.

Some shoppers can’t use the big carparks and they are being treated badly.

No doubt some people dread visiting Hobart because of the overly effective bombers and the parking meter fiasco. They will shop online or elsewhere if they can. It shouldn’t be this way.

EDIT: Clearly, others think the same … the HCC’s Facebook page has since been smashed on this issue (below).

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