Oct 7, 2012 - News    15 Comments

Problem solving parking in Freo

The parking challenges in Freo are sometimes overstated but clearly people are being caught out with hefty fines and there is some room for improvement.  A Council working group was formed to develop strategies to make parking work better for residents and visitors alike. These initiatives are coming to this week’s SGS meeting for debate on Wednesday 10 October.

Night time parking fees

I’m pleased that one of my campaign suggestions was adopted – to make night time street parking a flat rate all night. If this gets approved, you will only need to pay a maximum of $4 to park on the street at night in Freo, regardless of how long you stay. You wont need to go back to your car to feed the meter.

More half-hour free parking in the east end

The half hour free parking bays on the street will be expanded to include more along the eastern end of High Street (from Queen Street to Parry Street) and Adelaide Street (between Queen Street and Parry Street). This is intended to support business, particularly in the east end and centre of town.

First hour free

The City owns or manages approximately 4,984 parking bays around the CBD; 1,034 on-street bays and 3,950 off-street bays. To encourage people to use the off street parking bays, we are proposing to make the first hour of parking in the Queensgate or Parry Street car parks free, then just $2 per hour for subsequent hour/s.

Note: You CAN NOT BE FINED in the Queensgate car park, since you pay for how long you stay as you leave. There are 830 car bays and at least 15% of them are empty even in peak periods. So if you want cheap, hassle free parking in Freo – this will be the way to do it!

Finding a spot

There will also be signs that point to where the carparks are and how many bays are available as you enter town. The hope is that this will also reduce the amount of traffic in the CBD by directing people to access the car parks via the ‘ring roads’ of Parry, Norfolk and Beach Streets and Marine Tce.

There are a range of other issues and solutions raised in the full report, check out pages 11-22 of the SGS Agenda if you want to see more.

There are some small increases in the parking fees proposed (about 40c an hour at the most) to offset the lost income from parking (we don’t just want to slug locals through rates), but they are still less than Perth or the Town of Vincent  and remember; if you are a Freo resident and get yourself a Free Parking Permit, it is free between 9am – 11am and 3pm – 1am Monday to Friday anyway.

Having said that, parking in urban centres costs money and so it should. If you are not a Freo resident and don’t want to pay for parking there are still plenty of ways to avoid it: ride a bike, catch the bus or train, or park on the city fringe and walk or jump on a CAT bus.

Any which way you choose, don’t let parking spoil your visit to Freo – it is entirely unnecessary.


  • What would be great is a focus on discouraging motor vehicles in the centre of Fremantle and encouraging alternative transport instead. Cars on the cafe strip for example simply make it an unpleasant place to visit.

    • I agree Andrew and would say that is the process the council is working on…
      Closing the strip certainly needs to be a phased process if it’s ever going to happen or be successful. Right now, it wouldn’t work and not everyone agrees with the idea.

      However we have just changed the surface and created raised platforms to signal to drivers to slow down. New trees in pots will be installed down the centre in the next couple of months.

      We have written to Main Roads to change the speed limit to 30km and now I have proposed that the bus redirection stays in place as a trial over summer (see http://www.rachelpemberton.com.au/bus-free-cappuccino-strip-over-summer/) and we are going to direct cars that are looking for parking to circle the CBD rather than drive through it. So we are on our way towards that transformation.

      There are also kilometers of new bike paths throughout Freo and more to come. New bike parking has been installed and the Bicycle Users Group has been restarted and supported to provide input to council. The CAT bus has also been extended and made more efficient.

      We are fortunate in that these are issues that a number of councillors feel very strongly about. If you have specific ideas, let us know!

  • They sound like good ideas… tho I think $4.00 for night parking is cheap… and free parking does not send the right signal that someone else pays the cost (like LG) of free parking. There is no such thing as free parking bays when the land is as expensive as it is in Freo. Be good to start plugging that – that a car bay is worth ??? however much it is worth in Freo… in opporunity lost with that space and the cost of maintenance of it. I’m a bit worred the whinger s have the upper hand in this emotive debate. Parking is one of THE most emotive issues for any jurisdiction and the public need to understand it is not a god given right to drive where ever you want when ever ou want and expect to park (for free).

  • Great article Rachel.

    You are excellent. I’m sorry you’ve had a recent bad review on The Fremantle Doctor blog. You work. Lots of councilors don’t (at other councils, I mean).

    You do great stuff.

    But! We were told as traders we would have a voice on the working group but were not invited. That doesn’t matter so much because the outcomes are sound. However, it is good customer service to keep us informed (that the group has started and no traders are required). The council is the biggest bear in the woods so it does matter to us when the communication goes sque-whiff, your end.

    Keep us the good work. Is Tim Grey-Smith going to do anything?

    (Don’t answer that. )

    • Thanks Neil,
      I am very sorry to hear that you expected to be contacted about the work of the Parking Action Group but weren’t. I would have thought there was some discussion of these matters with the precinct groups, local business associations and chamber of commerce? However you are entirely right about the need for good customer service – it is something the council is working to improve.

      The report that is before council this week also needs to be approved by full council on 24 October, so if you (or any of the other traders) have any concerns, you are welcome to raise them with me over the next 2 weeks.

      I will also make sure that the traders are notified about the opportunity to comment now.

      Best wishes,

      • Cheers!

  • When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any manner you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    • I’ll try!

  • Hi Neil

    To communicate the proposed changes the City has put out a media release and has also updated its website, facebook and twitter feeds. This was phase one.

    Phase two is to inform the local business community, with commercial property and business owners being invited to an informal briefing session this Thursday morning (11 October).

    If you would like to attend and haven’t received an email invitation can I suggest you email Nicholas Takacs who would be happy to send you the details.

    Nicholas can be contacted via email at nicholast@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

  • Great to have you back in blog world Rachel!


  • I have added your blog to Planet Freo.

  • Good proposals to encourage greater utilization of parking bays, but my personal preference would be to actually remove more bays and replace them with bicycle racking, as has been successful in just a few places in Fremantle. I work in the area of transport and cycling panning and gathering data from vehicles and cycles, and a lot of work is being done in cities like Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Mexico City, Portland, Bogota and other places where visionary planners are able to totally rejuvenate parts of the these hitherto gridlocked cities by removing cars and car bays and providing bike parking. We have gotten used to the “mandatory” use of cars fro shopping, but in reality we all used to shop quite well on bicycles in bygone years, and in places like Amsterdam it is still the main modus operandi. Shopping on bicycles encourages more purchasing of locals’ produce and use of local suppliers and more frequent interactions between shopkeepers. This in turn helps build connections within the communities. Cheers, Mike

  • With views of Fremantle to the port, the river and the ocean these self contained apartments have everything you could require for a relaxing stay in the Heart of Freo. The central location means you can leave the car (in the secure, gated carpark) and stroll to the train station or bus, jump on and off the free CAT bus or wander around beautiful Fremantle, where you will find boutique shops, cafes and pubs all within easy reach. In-house entertainment includes an iPod and iPhone docking station, Hi-Fi with AM/FM radio, HDTV and DVD player. Secure off street parking is provided with remote control access. Whether you are in Fremantle for pleasure, cruise embarkation, work, study or rostered time off from FIFO, you will have a very comfortable stay in the Heart of Freo.

  • Two bars are also located on the north side of the river along Queen Victoria Street: Mojo’s Bar and the Swan Hotel, which has been on the street for over 100 years.