An advanced parking system will be introduced to Castle Towers, with fees for stays longer than three hours.
The shopping centre has been one of the few remaining malls that offer free parking for customers – but that’s about to change.
Approval of a $900 million redevelopment could take place on Tuesday, and centre management has this week confirmed work on the paid parking system will begin in the next few months.
It will use licence plate recognition to track parking and is touted as “one of the most advanced parking systems in Australia.”
“The new managed parking system will provide a smarter, more streamlined method of parking and provide our customers with the best opportunity to quickly and easily find a parking space,” centre manager Martin Ollis said.
“When the system is activated, parking at Castle Towers will be free for the first three hours and free for customers entering the Centre after 6pm,” he said.
Parking will remain free for up to three hours, with rates starting at $5 for 3.5 hours. Five hours will incur a $13 fee and more than seven hours will reach the maximum rate of $40.
There are some exceptions and deals included, such as an additional hour of free parking for cinema patrons.
“Based on independent data and analysis of customer shopping behaviours, we predict less than 10 per cent of our customers will pay for parking,” Mr Ollis said.
A start date for the new system is yet to be confirmed.
“There are still a number of stages to complete before a scheduled activation date can be announced, and we will be sure to communicate this well in advance of the system’s activation,” he said.
A key objective is to ensure convenience for customers, Mr Ollis said in explaining the ticketless system.
“In preparation for the proposed development, implementing this ticketless parking system will maximise the opportunity for our customers to find a park, which in turn improves Castle Towers’ retail productivity,” he told the News.
“Using licence plate recognition to track parking without the need for a paper ticket means vehicles will not be required to stop on entry to wait for a ticket to be issued, ensuring entry and exit from the car park will be quick and easy.
“This will be complemented by the already installed LED-based car space indicators and electronic display boards to allow customers to easily find an available car parking space.
The parking upgrade is a key element of the proposed Castle Towers development, which remains under consideration with the Joint Regional Planning Panel.