Call for more disability parking bays

An Elmore woman is calling on the council to create more parking spaces for disability permit holders in the Bendigo CBD.

Pam Towers has held a permit for more than 20 years and on her two trips to Bendigo a week says it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find an unoccupied parking bay.

Last month when Mrs Towers went to visit her bank in Bath Lane, she couldn’t find a park. At a loss of what to do, she parked in the loading zone and ending up receiving a $159 fine.

“Where else can we bloody park?,” she said.

“There’s only one disabled park in Bath Lane.”

It’s a scenario that Mrs Towers says she is faced with often – having the only bay set aside for disability parking permit holders taken.

Mrs Towers cannot walk long distances due to her asthma and arthritis and finds it difficult parking in many of the city’s narrower bays. She says the issue will only get worse, with a growing and ageing population in Bendigo.

“There’s got to be something done,” she said, calling on the council to create at least one more space in Bath Lane, if not more throughout the CBD.

“There’s not enough disabled car parking around Bendigo. They don't allow for people getting old.”

City of Greater Bendigo CBD parking 

About 5700 people hold a City of Greater Bendigo disability parking permit, and there are just shy of 100 disabled parking bays in the CBD, not including private car parks.

City of Greater Bendigo safe and healthy environments manager Caroline Grylls said the building code required one in 50 bays be a disabled bay for the first 1000 bays and one per cent of bays thereafter.

“This puts the number of required bays to meet the building standards at 62,” she said. “Holders of disabled parking permits can park in any time restricted bay for double the time stated.”

Disabled parking was included in a review of CBD parking in 2009 and Bendigo was found to be compliant with relevant requirements at the time.

Ms Grylls said it would be reviewed again in the next 12 months as part of a planned wider review of CBD parking.