North Sydney Council begins electronic monitoring of parking

Licence plate recognition (LPR) technology will be used in restricted areas without meters

North Sydney Council will start using licence plate recognition (LPR) technology to monitor parking from Monday, May 20 in restricted areas which don’t have meters.

The Council has trialled LPR for parking surveys over the past few months. The technology will also be used to conduct surveys of North Sydney streets so that it can track parking patterns and vacancy rates across the area.

According to the Council’s director of engineering and property services, Duncan Mitchell, LPR would make parking surveys cheaper.

“A parking survey done manually costs $1.65 per vehicle, compared to just 8 cents per vehicle for a survey conducted using LPR,” he said in a statement. “More importantly, the data will be real-time so we can build up a picture of vacancy rates over time and not just on one day of the year.”

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Council general manager Penny Holloway added that the technology was “not about revenue raising”.

However, she did admit that LPR would allow parking wardens to monitor some restricted areas more efficiently and this could increase fine revenues in the short term.

“Our experience would indicate that even if there is a short term increase, the fine income will return to the level it has been for the past few years as people start complying with the restrictions,” Holloway said.

“Parking is a scarce resource and while fine income is useful for funding road and footpath maintenance, our goals for parking management have always been to ensure that people park safely and that there is turnover of parking spaces in high demand areas.”

LPR technology is also used by the New South Wales Police.

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