Australia’s smart parking initiative to reduce traffic congestion in regional areas

Less time will be spent stuck in traffic for Central Coast residents and visitors as work is being started on the installation of 450 smart parking sensors.

The project, according to Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher, would see the installation of 250 parking sensors in the Terrigal CBD and 200 sensors in the Gosford CBD, allowing drivers to link to available parking information through apps.

According to the announcement made by Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, this project is designed to solve the perennial problem of finding a parking spot. This is a great example of how the A$ 50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program of the Turnbull Government is helping make the cities and regional areas more liveable.

The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program supports exactly this type of clever solution to local problems, with the ultimate goal of spreading good ideas to other cities, suburbs and regions.

This particular initiative will benefit the local area as it will help reduce the heavy traffic congestion in the heart of Terrigal and Gosford.

The smart parking initiative solves the problem of traffic congestion in the business centres of the Central Coast. Federal Member for Robertson Lucy Wicks explained that up to 30% of traffic congestion was due to people looking for free parking spaces.

She added that the residents of Central Coast park around train stations before commuting to Sydney or Newcastle in their thousands every day, which makes finding a parking space at Gosford and other centres problematic.

However, she said, they are now partnering with Council to help resolve these long-standing issues. She explained how the community has struggled for car parking in Gosford and Terrigal.

She’s delighted to see work starting for locals across the Central Coast as it will help reduce heavy traffic congestion in the heart of the business centres.

Aside from reducing congestion, the smart parking initiative will help reduce air pollution, improve road safety and boost ease of access to local businesses for potential customers.

Central Coast Mayor Jane Smith said adequate and available parking was a key to activating town centres. These innovative parking sensors will go a long way to alleviating the frustration of finding a parking spot.

She explained that similar sensors are already working well at The Entrance and thanks to this funding, visitors to Gosford and Terrigal will benefit too by getting real-time information about the availability of parking via an app which will identify available parking spots.

The investment of the Australian Government in this initiative is very much welcomed since this will help make a real difference to the lives of local residents in terms of saving time, reducing frustration and minimising town-centre congestion.

The project is one of 49 under Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. 40% of successful Round 1 projects are located in regional areas like the Central Coast.

A funding of A$ 104,735 was committed by the Turnbull Government to the project, while the Central Coast Council and Reino International Pty Ltd will together contribute A$ 150,812.

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