Crackdown warning for Minto commuters

Crackdown: Minto commuter Doug Nelson stands in front of a row of vehicles parked outside the designated bays in the Minto Basketball Courts car park. Picture: Chris Lane
Crackdown: Minto commuter Doug Nelson stands in front of a row of vehicles parked outside the designated bays in the Minto Basketball Courts car park. Picture: Chris Lane

For 32 years Doug Nelson, like many Minto train commuters, has parked his vehicle in the Minto Basketball Courts car park.

With a limited number of spaces in designated parking bays, vehicles often park in the dirt along the eastern side next to the netball courts.

On Monday, Mr Nelson, like he had done on many occasions, parked on the eastern side along with dozens of other commuters.

However, when he returned, he discovered a $108 parking fine stuck to his windscreen.

“I thought, ‘what’s this for’,” he said.

“I wasn’t hindering the thoroughfare or causing any danger.

“I looked along the row (or cars parked similarly) and they all had tickets.”

Mr Nelson said people had been parking on the eastern side for “donkey’s years” but it was the first time he had seen anybody fined.

While a sign at the front of the car park warns motorists to “park in bays only”, Mr Nelson said there were no other signs and commuters were left with very little alternatives given the limited amount of spaces.

“It used to be alright but now there are people from Gregory Hills and Oran Park (using the car park) and there aren’t enough spaces,” he said.

The council’s acting director of city development, Paul Curley, said the crackdown was a result of recent incident.

“Council has undertaken parking patrols in the car park recently in response to community complaints concerning unsafe parking behaviour, and more specifically in response to vehicles not parking in marked or allocated spaces within the car park,” he said.

“Recently there was an incident where a bus conveying school children to a sporting event at the indoor sports centre collided with a car parked illegally, out of a marked bay, as it attempted to access the sports centre.”

Mr Curley said the council conducted a two-week warning period for motorists in mid-March.

He defended the amount of signage and the decision to issue fines on Monday.

“It could lead to potentially unsafe parking behaviour, making it hazardous for other vehicles and/or pedestrians manoeuvring within the car park, as outlined above,” he said.

“In addition, damage is being sustained to the unsealed surface of the car park, making the area unsafe for pedestrians to traverse.”

Lack of commuter parking has become a growing concern at many Campbelltown train stations.

On Tuesday, mayor George Brticevic provided some temporary relief for Ingleburn commuters, changing some restricted spaces to all day parking in the council-owned car park next to Ingleburn Fair, until the shopping centre’s redevelopment was complete later this year.

Two years ago NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, then the Transport Minister, promised 450 new commuter spaces at Campbelltown Train Station. They still haven’t been delivered.