Residents and business owners in Guildford are mystified by a recent decision by the City of Swan to effectively ban parking on the southern side of Stirling Street.
The motion, put forward by Altone Councillor Andrew Kiely, called on the City to install “no parking on road or verge” signs along the southern side of Stirling Street, from Meadow Street to Waylen Street, and was unanimously agreed to by Swan councillors on May 6.
The officer’s comment on the motion did not seem to endorse the motion, noting that staff do not believe parking behaviours along thesouthern verge of Stirling Street are excessive or causing hazard or disruption to road users, cyclists or pedestrians.
In a five-year period from 2014 to 2018, there has been one reported crash on Stirling Street, and the street was not identified as requiring restrictions as part of the Guildford Precinct Parking Plan, ratified in 2019.
Former Guildford Grammar teacher Andrew Davidson has been a resident of Guildford for 40 years, with the majority of that time spent living on Stirling Street.
He told Echo News council’s decision made no sense, and said it would result in people simply parking on the northern side of the street, blocking sight-lines for residents attempting to exit their properties.
He said he told Cr Kiely as much when the councillor showed up in his backyard at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t lock the side gate and this bloke appears, but he didn’t want to hear what I said, he just wanted his own thing,” he said.
“I put in an objection, my neighbours did as well, we had to put it in Mr Kiely’s letterbox.
“Many people I have spoken to have objected and this was never addressed at the meeting.
“The decision to ban parking on the southern side of this street is just foolhardy, and it will create more issues for us than it will solve.”
Poste Café’s Michael Noonan has had his own battles with council over parking, and he said there was a management problem with parking in Guildford.
“If you endorsed parking on the Southern side of Stirling Street, you could fit 40 or 50 cars in there,” he said.
“On the northern side, 17 to 18 at most, and that doesn’t cater for the overflow of the café strip on Swan Street.”
Rose and Crown owner Mark Weber also said he had his concerns over the move.
“It’s got me beat,” he said.
“The shire just continually takes away parking from around the neighbourhood.
“When my neighbours and my neighbourhood are unhappy about something, I hear about it and I’ve definitely heard about this.
“My only grievance is that my neighbours are unhappy about it, I’ve got 30 neighbours wrapped around the hotel and you get a bit of an idea what people think about it.”
Councillor Kiely told Echo News he notified 14 properties on Stirling Street and Sutherland Street regarding his motion.
“I think there were six or seven responses which is a pretty good response rate for small sample size, and they were passed on to all councillors,” he said.
“So yes they were consulted.
“I think there was one objection.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether a comment is a positive or a negative for the actual motion.”
City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said there have been 26 Parking Infringement Notices and 60 Parking Caution Notices issued in Guildford in the last six months.
“The City of Swan understands that Cr Kiely surveyed 14 premises along Stirling St regarding parking.
“Of those surveyed, two were against his proposal and three were in favour.
“City staff, rather than Councillors, would typically consult adjacent residents if it was proposing the installation of parking signs.”