Residents of the ritzy beachside Sydney village suburb of Watsons Bay will no longer have exclusive parking rights on the street, after the decades-old practice was deemed illegal.
Residents-only spots have been set aside for permit holders on the streets of Watsons Bay, about 11km northwest of the CBD, for the last 50 years.
But Transport NSW has come down on Woollahra Council, finding the spots to be illegal, and ordering the Council change the rules.
The Council tried to compromise by ruling this week that the 70 or so residents-only spots would be available to visitors for 15 minutes as part of a six-month trial.
But Transport NSW slammed the proposal as “impractical and unreasonable”.
Watsons Bay has nearly 1000 parking spots, about 70 of which were slated for permit-holders only.
Councillor Harriet Price, the only Councillor to vote against the proposal, argued the 15 minute time limit was impractical for anyone wanting to go to the beach.
Local residents are upset with the change, arguing they need the exclusive parking spaces because their homes are heritage listed, and can’t be renovated to add a driveway or garage.
“There’s a conga line of people looking for a spot on a sunny day, so the only way to park is in a different suburb,” resident Andrew told 9News.
“We want people to come, we love them coming, we love sharing it with them — why wouldn’t we?” resident Yvonne also said.
It’s unclear at this stage if Transport NSW plans to officially step in and overrule the 15 minute parking trial.