The issue of Ballarat’s tight car parks has flared again, with concerns arising over spaces in several lots that fail to meet minimum size guidelines.
Measurements taken by The Courier on several well-used car parks show that many spaces do not meet the requirements generally accepted across the state through the Australian Standards and Planning Scheme Requirements.
Accepted length and width of a space is often determined on the width of the accessway point, with the bare minimum for width generally set at 2.6 metres and length usually at 4.9 metres. However, of the 22 car parks measured across Officeworks, Stockland Wendouree, Big W and Central Square multi-storey lots, none reached the guidelines for width, while several spaces were marked well-short for length. Worst for width were spaces at Stockland Wendouree, with some measuring just over 2.2 metres wide. Of the seven parks measured on the site, the average width was just 2.35 metres.
The other three lots averaged around 2.50 metres, however, Officeworks spaces proved to be alarmingly short, with spaces measuring just over 4.6 metres from kerb to the inside of the back line (excluding overhang allowance). Some parks in the Central Square multi-storey measured just 4.10 metres from the bar-curb to the inside of the end line, however, significant overhang is allowed for the front of cars.
In response to The Courier last July, City of Ballarat general manager of city infrastructure Eric Braslis said car parks at Big W, Stockland Wendouree, Wendouree train station, Ballarat train station, Coles Bakery Hill and the Central Square multi-storey car park were privately owned and out of the council’s control.
However, in a written response to The Courier earlier this week, Ballarat’s general manager (of) city services Terry Demeo said the approval of private development car parks is assessed through the Ballarat Planning Scheme – effectively overruling Australian standard guidelines.
“Off-street car parking proposals associated with private developments are assessed using the Ballarat Planning Scheme, which takes precedence over the relevant Australian Standards,” Mr Demeo said.
Ballarat resident Paul Webster thinks the multi-storey lot is the worst for length;
“There were cars parked with their towbars (hanging out into the driving lanes) and they so infringed on the dual access that it was reduced to a single lane. You have a 5.3 metre truck (ute) with a towbar and you've only got a 4.8 metres of (space) you’re looking at at least 1.2 metres of impingement on the dual carriageway. It’s crazy.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.