Sydney riders are claiming $82 parking fines they received are unfair as the jurisdiction of the area changed from City of Sydney council (COS) to state government without clear public notice.
Previously the riders were able to park free in the Rocks, Pyrmont and Darling Harbour areas including outside designated bike-only zones as long as they adhered to the time restrictions.
However, the state reclaimed the land in January, according to the council, and installed private company parking meters at the end of August 2019.
The COS website was only changed on 17 September 2019 after several motorcyclists complained, according to Property NSW.
“Disputed infringements issued before the website was updated have been waived,” they say.
Fines unfair, say riders
However, riders Jin Weng and Andrew Johnstone missed the change on the website and say the fines are unfair as there was not enough notice provided that the change had occurred.
Property NSW say “signage informing motorists and riders of the change of operation was placed on the meters from the time of the transition, which was managed in collaboration with City of Sydney, and notices were distributed to residents”.
However, Jin claims the road signs are “exactly the same” and the website was updated nine months after the change of jurisdiction.
“Motorcyclists cannot be expected to read the website everyday before parking a bike to ensure a road ownership hasn’t changed,” he says.
Andrew says he was unfairly slapped with an $82 fine along with about eight others in the bike-only zone in the Rocks.
The zone ends at 6pm and then it is four-hour meter parking.
“I got done at 7.23pm. Previously under Sydney Council Laws there was no meter fee payable. Now this has changed,” Andrew says.
“I never saw anything on the signs for parking. Maybe the signs were on the meters themselves which naturally we would never look at.
“But the website just states part of the Rocks and the link does not link to an exact map and it says to check signs. Signs are no different to any other signs across the city.”
Jin received a parking fine Cumberland St outside a City of Sydney recreation centre because new parking meters were installed by a private company on a road at the doorstep of the COS recreation centre.
“Other areas within Sydney not under the COS jurisdiction have clear indication at the location that it is managed by a different authority such as areas in the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain.
“Sufficient notification should have been given when the changes occurred, the signs and parking meters at Cumberland St is exactly the same as anywhere else in the city of Sydney,” Jin says.
Loss of spaces
The loss of free motorcycle parking follows the reduction of CBD kerbside parking last year to accommodate bus, pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.
It prompted a petition for more motorcycle parking space.
Petition organiser and commuter rider Emma MacIver says the city is lagging behind Melbourne and the rest of the world and Motorcycle Council of NSW parking subcommittee claimed council’s lack of consultation with riders on the issue was “disappointing”.
Emma’s petition has gained almost 2000 signatures.