Survey into free parking trial

LAUNCESTON businesses are being surveyed over a proposed trial of daily, one-hour free parking.

The survey is being undertaken by Cityprom, but is open to all central business district building owners and tenants and began yesterday.

The latest proposal for Launceston City Council-owned multistorey car parks follows the council's Super Tuesday idea revealed in June, to offer one-hour free parking each Tuesday between 1pm and 6pm.

Aldermen deferred a decision on the proposal at a June meeting.

If the Cityprom trial was to go ahead, it would run for a minimum 12-month period, after which time all data would be collected and a decision determined on the next step.

Cityprom executive officer Vanessa Cahoon said the board had determined this was the best proposal to put forward in the survey, taking into account its many members.

In an email sent to members yesterday she said: "In order to continue lobbying Launceston City Council on the issue of first hour free parking, we need to be able to provide a solid evidence base that clearly shows the local business community support a first-hour free parking initiative."

Ms Cahoon said that if the trial was successful and implemented, "it would be likely that Cityprom would need to make an ongoing partial contribution, in-kind or monetary, to see first-hour free parking continue."

She said the council had estimated the cost of the initiative to be about $700,000 annually and admitted this may be a concern for some members.

Cityprom member Rob Turner, of Jim Hughes & Sons Jewellers, said despite his long-term personal involvement in lobbying the council on the matter, he had concerns about this proposal.

He said the 12-month trial was too short and should run until at least October 2015.

He also raised concerns about funding and therefore the ability to properly advertise and run a trial, and said it was almost doomed to fail before it had begun.

The survey closes on July 31.

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