Sunbury commuters face parking sting

Parking officers are planning to come down hard on commuters leaving their cars in short-term bays next to Sunbury train station, with an enforcement blitz getting under way this week.

The blitz is expected to worsen the town’s parking woes, with many train passengers already resorting to leaving their cars in nearby side streets.

Hume council has confirmed that the new owners of Sunbury Central shopping centre have asked officers to start patrolling its three-hour bays.

Cautions will be issued in the short term but before long those caught breaking restrictions will be slapped with $50 fines.

“They saw fit to build a park-and-ride at Diggers Rest when it was redeveloped, but why the hell didn’t they do it in Sunbury?”


Critics of the crackdown say it only highlights the desperate need for more parking in Sunbury’s CBD.

All-day parking on the shopping centre’s top level, reserved for train passengers under a deal made when the Sunbury line was electrified, is typically full by 7am on weekdays.

Sunbury Train Association member Paul Campbell said commuters were increasingly left with few options.

“With so many more people using the trains, the parks are filling up a lot earlier than they used to,” he said.

Plans for a private multi-level carpark in the area were abandoned in 2011, despite extensive talks with the council and Public Transport Victoria.

Cr Jack Medcraft said that with 20 to 30 cars using Sunbury Central’s short-term bays every day, it was clear that authorities had “stuffed up”.

“We all know there’s a major shortage right across central Sunbury,” he said.

“PTV has a responsibility to provide parking … they saw fit to build a park-and-ride at Diggers Rest when it was redeveloped, but why the hell didn’t they do it in Sunbury?’’

In October last year, the council and Sunbury Business Association warned that overwhelming demand was stopping some people from accessing train services and was having a noticeable affect on nearby businesses.

Council city infrastructure director Peter Waite said that with new data showing up to 2.7 million people used trains between Sunbury and Keilor Plains stations every year, the need for more parking bays was urgent.

“Hume has regularly called on the state government to increase parking for rail commuters at Sunbury,” he said.

A PTV spokesman said the 350 commuter spaces at Sunbury Central were marked in yellow and not subject to time restrictions.

“PTV will continue to monitor demand for these spaces, and explore ways to improve parking arrangements at Sunbury station.”