Former Newcastle Lord Mayor and developer Jeff McCloy believes a new city parking station needs to built immediately to compensate for the loss of more than 1000 car parking spaces in recent years.
Mr McCloy, who described parking as the “biggest issue facing the city”, is about to survey Newcastle businesses about how they have been affected by the loss of parking spaces as a result of light rail construction and the development of land at Honeysuckle.
“You can hardly get a park in the city. Businesses are suffering and property owners are suffering because they are not getting their rents paid,” he said.
The business survey follows a similar survey Mr McCloy conducted of University of Newcastle staff and students at Callaghan and NeW Space that found 90 per cent of survey respondents still traveled by car.
Mr McCloy described the university’s proposal to provide 12 parking spaces to cater for 6500 students its Honeysuckle campus development as “deceptive and misleading.”
Results from the two surveys will be considered by Mitry Lawyers with a view to launching a potential class-action action against the state government and the university.
“This is not just something that affects the inner city, it has a roll-on effect for people who live in the inner suburbs,” Mr McCloy said.
“It’s a major issue, it needs fixing and it needs fixing quickly.”
Mr McCloy’s comments come as several Newcastle businesses encourage their employees to look for alternatives to driving to work.
NIB chief executive Mark Fitzgibbon said many of the organisation’s 720 Honeysuckle-based employees had felt the pinch of reduced parking options.
“To help make the trip to work easier for our employees, we have established a car pooling solution to encourage them to ride share together. In addition, we promote a range of travel alternatives such as public transport, council’s park and ride service as well as cycling to work,” he said.
A Revitalising Newcastle parking guideshows there are 4000 off-street parking spaces within a 10 minute walk of the city centre.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, also voiced concern about loss of city parking and the university’s Honeysuckle campus proposal.
“Loss of parking in the CBD has been something I have been highlighting since being elected. In fact, during my recent briefing with the University of Newcastle about their new campus, the first thing that I raised was the lack of parking. There needs to be a rethink,” he said.
“In the University’s own ‘Consultation Outcome Report’, 23 stakeholders raised concerns regarding traffic and parking - it was the second highest concern.”
“Everyone wants to see this be a success but it’s important we get this right.”