Fines soar in parking blitz

PARKING fines across the Southern Downs council region have increased as of this week under changes to local laws which took effect on New Year's Day.

Loading zones in particular will become parking hot zones, with the illegal parking penalty jumping from $20 to $100 as council continues its crackdown.

Disabled spaces are also in the sights, with the penalty rising from $50 to $100, while the penalty for all general parking offences going from $20 up to $50.

Mayor Ron Bellingham was yesterday at pains to stress it was the first increase in parking fines in Warwick and Stanthorpe for 15 years.

He said the move was to ensure people and businesses who need easy and accessible parking are given "a fair go".

"These fines have jumped significantly to ensure that traffic keeps moving throughout the day giving fair and equitable access to all businesses," Cr Bellingham said.

"If shoppers know they will be able to get a park, they are more likely to shop in their local community which has a positive economic effect."

Cr Bellingham urged people to take note of disabled parking spaces and loading zone allocations and leave them for the people who need them.

"Loading zones are for people who need to unload commercial trucks to the businesses close by. When they are used by others it forces those truck drivers to carry goods for greater distances, which is both difficult and inefficient," the mayor said.

"Only park in a disabled space if you have a permit and ensure it is displayed visibly on your dashboard."

Parking patrols only monitor streets in the Warwick CBD which have signage limiting parking times.

Residents who wish to park for longer are encouraged to use the council car parks in Acacia Avenue and behind the Warwick Town Hall.

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