A NEW era in technology is set to hit the streets and car parks of Bathurst when patrols featuring licence plate recognition cameras start on Monday, but good luck to CBD workers and shoppers hoping to avoid being nabbed by big brother.
Nanjing Night Net

No vacancy: IGA car park

The chances of securing a safe, all-day spot in two of three off-street car parks in the central business district appear remote if you don’t get in early.

On Monday that will no doubt lead to a mad scramble for a safe haven to avoid a fine of $101 for overstaying your welcome or $506 for illegally parking in a place reserved for disabled drivers.

The Western Advocate yesterday did a check of the RSL Club car park, the IGA car park behind Beck’s Bakery and the McDonald’s car park in Elizabeth Street.

And by 11am, it was pretty much a case of the house full at the RSL and IGA locations.

However, the McDonald’s car park did have room for more vehicles and there is also the timed but risky on street parking available.

And if you think hiding out in one of the shopping centre car parks is safe, they will also be patrolled by the licence plate recognition (LPR) camera.

Bathurst Regional Council estimates it has the responsibility for keeping tabs on about 4000 car parking spaces in the city.

The new recognition (LPR) camera is expected to allow council rangers to monitor at least 1000 vehicles each day.

It believes the new technology will free up car parking spots on the busy streets of the CBD by forcing motorists to toe the line and not overstay their welcome.

Cr Warren Aubin from council’s traffic committee believes there is sufficient all-day car parking available in the city, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that a designated multi-storey car park could be built at a future date.

A likely venue for that scenario could be the RSL Club car park or McDonald’s car park.

Mayor Gary Rush says council was introducing the mobile parking enforcement in response to calls from CBD businesses to increase traffic turnover outside their shops.

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