Last August I posted on how changes to paid parking arrangements in Brisbane CBD have adversely affected CBD businesses, particularly in the southern part of the CBD – the part of the CBD which finds it tough enough already owing to its distance from the mall and bus and railway stations (Paid parking affecting work and play in Brisbane CBD). Earlier today I chatted with Jessica Pugh, Events Manager at Restaurant II on Alice St, one of the businesses most severely impacted by the new paid parking regime. Jessica told me the following:
- Restaurant II held 45 wedding receptions last year but this year is only expecting 30. Wedding organisers always ask Jessica about the parking situation and many are put off by the fact their guests would have to pay for parking nearby. They find it easier to book one of the many reception venues in the suburbs where you don’t have to pay for parking.
- The paid parking restrictions have contributed to the closures of a number of businesses in the CBD and surrounds over the last year, including Ortiga and Lady Lamington in the Valley, and Jessica understands the once thriving, high-end lingerie store Arianne on Edward may be about to shut up due to a huge drop off in trade.
- In addition to damaging restaurants that rely on night-time trade, the paid parking restrictions have really hit fashion retailers, because people don’t want to worry about the parking meter when they’re trying on outfits.
BCC should review its current paid parking regime in the CBD as a matter of urgency. Edward St in particular doesn’t need to lose any more businesses, because there are already a number of empty shops such as these between Mary and Margaret Streets:
As I’ve posted on before, there are already enough government policies adversely affecting small businesses:
N.B. At the end of our chat, Jessica disclosed that she is the Labor candidate for the State seat of Mt Ommaney. Nonetheless I think she was being completely objective in her criticism of BCC.