Bikini parking maids ruled out

DON'T expect to see scantily-clad meter maids – or Warwick Chamber of Commerce members – on our main street anytime soon, but a new education campaign about parking is set to be highly visible.

With flouting of the general two-hour parking limit in the Rose City Central Business District (CBD) continuing to cause headaches for retailers, the Chamber has decided to take the ‘softly-softly' approach by tucking politely-worded reminders under windscreen wipers.

As eye-catching as they would be, Gold Coast-style meter maids handing out the flyers have been ruled out by Chamber president John Randall, who despite the seriousness of the issue managed a tongue-in-cheek shot at his fellow members.

“We'll be putting courtesy notices on cars parked in the CBD on a random basis over the next month,” he said.

“Most Warwick shoppers are aware of the general two-hour limit in town but some aren't and we'll be working hard to educate those people.

“We'll be using Chamber of Commerce members to place the courtesy notices and most of them wouldn't look good in a bikini.”

Mr Randall said Warwick shoppers were welcome to park in the CBD but will be encouraged in the next few weeks to make sure they park according to the rules.

He said with the upcoming Christmas period it was important for the convenience of shoppers that everyone had the best access to all shops.

“There's also the constant problem of staff parking in the main street,” he said.

“But most traders know who those culprits are and we have a strategy for dealing with those serial offenders.”

Chamber of Commerce research shows retail contributes more $800 million to the local economy.

“We also know that retail provides over 1200 jobs in Warwick,” Mr Randall said.

“So it's only reasonable that the Chamber has taken on the job of trying to make more parking available for more shoppers at this time.”

“If shoppers need to park for more than two hours, there is long-term car parking available behind the town hall and the Target store – it's about a fair go for all concerned,” Mr Randall said.

But while the Chamber will take the softer line, Mayor Ron Bellingham has confirmed that the appointment of a part-time parking inspector – first mooted more than 12 months ago – is nearing.

Cr Bellingham said random patrols were likely to start “before Christmas” and would initially focus on education, but fines would also result for serial parking offenders.

“People do tend to respond fairly quickly if the rules are being properly policed and there has certainly been no effective policing of parking for some time,” Cr Bellingham said.

“Hopefully this will settle some of the angst over parking in our CBD.”

While he agreed meter maids were “a pleasant enough idea” he likewise ruled them out, assuring the Daily News the parking officer would be fully clothed in an appropriate council uniform.

Got an opinion on CBD parking? Call us on 46601310.

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