In 2015 we upgraded our meters, and linked them to parking sensors that detect when you enter and leave the space.
What you need to know
- Your time limit starts when you enter a space, not when you pay at the meter.
- The parking meter will not accept payment past the time limit shown on the street sign.
- The meter zeroes itself when you leave the space, ie. meter payments are not transferable.
- The meter will soon accept tap and go payment from a contactless credit card.
Please note: Your obligation as a driver has not changed through the introduction of the parking sensors, in particular your responsibility to adhere to the time restrictions on the signpost.
The sensors will give us much better information about occupancy rates, which in turn will allow us to fine tune parking times to get optimal use from our parking spaces.
The system encourages parking turnover, which means everyone gets a chance to park. However, you can’t stay beyond the time on the sign without risking a fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are sensors?
Sensors are small electronic devices inserted into the ground that detect and record the time a vehicle enters and leaves a parking space.
The sensors are linked to a parking management system that allows Council to monitor parking and aggregate information for planning purposes.
What does the link to the meters mean?
The link means the meter knows the exact time you enter the space. It also means there is a record of whether or not a payment is made at the meter when a vehicle parks.
How will the sensors affect me?
Strictly speaking, your obligations as a driver have not changed. You are already only allowed to park for the time shown on the sign and you are already required to pay at the meter. However, the new system will stop two common motorist habits:
- You won’t be able to “top up” or “feed” the meter and therefore stay beyond the time allowed on the sign as the meter will not take another payment until your vehicle moves from the space.
- The other major change is that your time will start from the moment your car enters the space, not at the time you pay at the meter. For example, if you enter a 1P parking space at 9am and chat on the phone for 10 minutes before heading to the meter at 9.10am, you will only be able to pay until 10am, not 10.10am.
Will the sensors affect drivers with mobility permits?
No, this system has not changed the obligations or the rights of drivers with mobility permits. The parking officers will always check the vehicle to see whether a parking offence has occurred.
Isn’t this just a revenue raising exercise for Council?
The system may increase our revenue if more people comply with the requirement to pay. However, one of our core aims as a Council is to manage parking equitably. The demand for parking in the North Sydney Council area far exceeds supply and we get constant complaints from people who can’t get a park for essential activities such as a medical or business appointments. We also get complaints from businesses whose customers can’t park because available parking is being used by commuters who take a prime space and top up the meter throughout the day.
Will this change how fines are issued?
Council currently rosters parking officers across the Council area to ensure that parking is enforced fairly across commercial and residential areas. This will not change. Parking officers will have access to the information recorded by sensors when they are working in a metered area, but they will always check to see whether a parking offence has occurred before issuing a fine.
How do I know if a sensor has been installed?
We’re installing them in every space where there are parking meters so if you are in a metered parking area there will be a sensor.
Are these sensors being used anywhere else?
Yes, they are extensively used in Victoria, Queensland, SA and WA and in commercial carparks across the country. They are also being used on-street by five NSW councils including Penrith, Wyong and Port Macquarie.
Are the sensors accurate?
We have trialled the sensors extensively and are confident that they produce accurate data. The sensors are not affected by underground cables, mobile phones, large vehicles, surface debris or environmental conditions.
Parking Meter Information Label
The label below is located on the top front of each parking meter within North Sydney LGA. This label provides important meter and sensor details to customers
Consultation for the on-street parking management technology proposal was undertaken in 2012. A comprehensive four-page information sheet was available on Council’s website and in key distribution centres including Council’s customer service centre (see below), Stanton Library and the North Sydney Olympic Pool. The sheet was also distributed directly to stakeholder groups, precinct committees and business groups.
The proposal was on public exhibition from 30 May to 27 June 2012 and was promoted through advertisements in the local paper and social media, including directly to Council’s e-news subscribers. A public meeting was held on 21 June 2012.
In July 2015, Council advised residents, ratepayers, businesses and other users of the proposed changes by letterboxing residents, including information in rate notices to ratepayers, writing letters to business and community groups, putting signs on meters and spreading the word through e-newsletters and social media.