Sunday 24 November 2019

Do We Need A Closer Look At Trader Parking?

The special QVM bulletin put out this week could result in higher parking costs for many Traders and maybe it is the right time to look at the question of Trader parking in more detail.

From January, Traders who park in RK/RL and L sheds on Tuesday’s or Thursdays will need to find somewhere else to park their vehicles as the area will be activated for trading. In fact the bulletin states that there will be no more parking under the sheds except by Traders in their own stalls. Presumably that will affect those who previously parked in B to E Shed laneways as well.

And before we move on let’s identify a clear conflict of intent here. It has been a view by many (Traders and management) that Trader’s vehicles should not be parked in stalls if we want to maintain a professional retail appearance at QVM.

But for Traders needing alternative parking, car parks around the market have been nominated as alternatives (see list of alternative car parks below).  The problem is they all cost money. Early bird rates start at around $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday rates are generally around $10. For 5 day Traders the costs will mount up.

Why do Traders need parking? Market trading is unique, particularly in regard to limited trading space and storage. Many Traders (probably most Traders) replenish stock daily. And many Traders, certainly in the Upper Sheds, do not get the luxury of normal supplier deliveries either because they move locations from day to day or don’t have the space to unpack and allocate stock. Stock is delivered to homes or warehouses and then brought into the market.

So, a vehicle is an essential tool of trading. You cannot deliver stock via public transport (although there was a wallet trader a few years ago who carried all his stock in a suitcase on the train). For most Traders a vehicle is not a convenience, it is a necessary part of doing business at QVM.

We currently have a voucher system that allows Traders a discounted parking rate on weekdays ($12) but vouchers are not available on Saturday and Sunday when we dedicate our car park to customers. Vouchers are also available to city workers, a sort of Early Bird system at QVM. (*) The problem is that availability is not based on time but on a strictly rationed quota. As an example, Friday vouchers are usually exhausted by 7:30 am and Traders who arrive after that time have to make alternative arrangements or pay full price for parking.

There are a few things to consider here –
-        Should Traders who are using vehicles for stock replenishment be provided with car parking?
-        Should the voucher system be extended to all authorized Traders regardless of time of entry (in other words scrap the quota system)?
-        Should QVM Traders get preference over city workers? (*)
-        At what level do parking rates become prohibitive for Traders? A 5 day Trader who takes Early Bird parking outside the market could spend around $70 per week – a significant cost in tough times.

It would seem that more discussion is needed on this subject and your thoughts are welcome.

* Correction: "Vouchers are not available to city workers. They are only available to QVM traders and there is system in place to ensure they are only given to traders. The early bird prices referred to for city workers are on non-Market days only and no voucher is given, it’s based on the entry and exit time of the vehicle as per standard early bird prices."

Alternative Car Parks Near QVM:
Wilson Parking - 380 Latrobe St. (Entry via A’Beckett St.)
Mon-Fri 6:00am - 10:00pm
Early Bird $18.00 (Mon-Fri in 6am-10am out 2pm-12am)
Sat-Sun 7:00am - 10:00pm - Flat Rate $10.00 (Sun) $11.00 (Sat)

CBD Park - 58 Franklin St.
Early Bird $16.00 (in 5:30am-9:30am out 2pm-12am)
Sat-Sun - $12.00

SMA (Kim Lim) 162 A’Beckett St.
Mon-Fri 6:00am - 8:00pm
Sat 7:00am - 6:00pm
Early Bird $13.00 (Mon,Wed In by 9:30am out 2pm-8pm)
Early Bird $16.00 (Mon-Fri In by 10am out 2pm-8pm)

The Mint Car Park 383 Latrobe St.
Early Bird $19.00 (Mon-Fri in 7am-10am out 3pm-9pm)
Sat-Sun - All day Flat Rate $10.00

NOTE: This information has been taken from websites. Check with Car Parks for any special conditions.