Shoppers to stay longer in towns

TWO-hour parking bays will permanently replace one-hour spots in town centres across the Latrobe Valley.

Latrobe City Council this week revealed two hours would become the “default” time limit for on-street parking in central business districts, after it increased the limit on one-hour bays in November 2011 as part of a trial.

“The general feedback we have received from traders and ratepayers is that the two-hour parking limit is working very well for the community,” Latrobe City’s general manager, recreation culture and community liveability Grantley Switzer said.

However, he said the change had not pleased all business owners, with traders in some areas requesting further reviews into lowering the time limit.

“We have been liasing with some of those impacted business owners and also with our councillors to ascertain whether they are keen to see changes to the time limit within specific parking areas,” Mr Switzer said.

Meanwhile, business groups have welcomed the time increase.

“It seems to be working for most people,” Traralgon Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Lorraine Paulet said.

“Shoppers can actually stay down the street and shop for longer instead of rushing away and going home, it’s probably good for businesses and shoppers alike,” she said.

Moe Traders Association president Christine Waterhouse said George Street business owners were working with council to implement a mix of time limits to cater for the broad range of services in the area including cafes, a church, chemist, butcher and doctor’s clinic.

“I think the plan they’ve come up with will benefit the whole of the street,” she said.

Ms Waterhouse said the two-hour bays had otherwise been generally well-received.

Advance Morwell president John Guy and said he “hadn’t heard any complaints” from shopkeepers over two-hour parking.