Sunday, 29 November 2015

Board Rejects Car Park Proposal

A QVMAC sub-committee was set up recently to examine options for free car parking in the QVM car park. There are restricted times during which shoppers can currently enjoy free parking but traders were keen to see some form of free parking at any time of day in an effort to boost customer attendance and remove one of the major criticisms of our market.

The QVM car park is an important source of income for the market and essentially it is income that allows other expenditure to take place. Offering free parking has significant cost penalties – many thousands of dollars – and yet it is a desirable factor in attracting shoppers.

The last meeting of this sub-committee was considered very productive and an option was formulated that would involve a trial of 1 hours free parking (with $4 for the second hour) at any time of day during February. We were advised at Thursday’s QVMAC meeting that the Board had rejected the proposal and Board Member, Jane Fenton, was on hand to explain the Board’s decision.

The Board was presented with just one option, for a limited free parking offer at anytime during the month of February. The market was going to suffer a significant reduction in income during the trial and yet there was no way put forward of measuring the results. There is no dollar measure of trader’s sales and any increase in patronage at the car park could simply be city shoppers taking advantage of QVM's free parking but spending elsewhere. In the Board’s view that would not make for a good business decision.

The door is still open to other options including a variation on the free parking offer, the possibility of trader’s contributing to the cost of parking, or some form of voucher system. We will consider other options but one important thing needs to change. This had been a lengthy consideration and somehow we need to shorten the management process so that a speedier solution can be reached.

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