Melbourne CBD drivers pay hefty price to park

MOTORISTS are paying a hefty price to drive to the CBD with a new survey revealing Melbourne ranks third most expensive for city parking in the world.

The daily median parking rate in Melbourne is $69.50, more than many of the world’s biggest cities including London, Paris and New York.

Only Copenhagen and Oslo were more expensive, while Sydney ranked a close fourth.

Wilson Parking at 416 Flinders Lane is Melbourne’s most expensive for casual all-day parking, according to comparison website CarParking.info.

It charges $80 for any weekday stay of more than five hours.

The survey, conducted by real estate consulting firm Colliers International, found parking costs had increased globally in the past 12 months with the US the only exception.

Colliers International Director of Research Nerida Conisbee said councils in Melbourne and Sydney were actively discouraging people from driving into the CBD by imposing parking levies and timed road closures.

“The aim is to encourage other forms of transport and increase the ‘walkability’ of CBDs but with the introduction of carbon tax, which will affect public transport, it won’t help because the tax will be passed on to the passenger, increasing the cost of trains, buses and taxis by as much as $150 a year,” Ms Conisbee said.

CarParking.info creator Gerard McLennan said carpark operators had changed their rate structures so it was difficult for consumers to estimate how much their stay would cost.

His Cheap Parking iPhone app has more than 120,000 Australian subscribers and shows car parking can vary by up to $30 within one city block.

“If motorists don’t compare before they park, they will get gouged every time they come into the city. “We’re trying to make it easy for people to do the research,” Mr McLennan said.

“A carpark that is extremely expensive for a short stay will tend to be quite reasonable for a long one and vice versa. It’s really about the consumer finding the right carpark for what they need.”

RACV roads and traffic manager Peter Daly said Melbourne’s parking levy had disadvantaged short-term parkers.

“It was aimed at getting people onto public transport but what has actually happened is that it has ended up costing short-term parkers more money because operators weren’t going to pass on the cost to their best customers,” he said.