A SURVEY has revealed parking issues are plaguing local businesses from getting their share of the Christmas spending.
CellOPark's survey has revealed this issue is Queensland-wide and local retailers are losing out on as much as $5.8bn to major Shopping Centres and online retailers due to parking problems.
With Queenslanders expected to spend as much as $8.7bn on Christmas shopping this year, excessive fines and inflated parking prices have been identified as the key reasons that 66.7% of Queenslanders admit they are choosing not to shop local.
"With over a million small to medium business in Australia this is a worrying trend that councils need to reverse," says Michael Doherty, General Manager at CellOPark.
"Parking is a simple issue that can be modernised in a way to attract consumers back to the high street"
"Local councils are holding local shops back, and taking money out of the pockets of those people which support the community the most. There is a fairly simple solution to this problem and it's clear that Australian's are looking for a better option" Doherty continued.
The survey found that 78% of Queenslanders wanted to see a revitalisation of Australia's parking systems -a statistic that should be poignant within council discussions over the next 6 months as local councils look to save money in the face of declining federal and state funding.
"The tired old parking systems which are not only costing local businesses and motorist's money, are also hurting the councils themselves, they are spending thousands of dollars a year on maintenance and upkeep of these legacy systems" said Doherty.
Queensland motorists agree, with an overwhelming 74% believing smartphone technology would offer a more efficient, user-friendly and fairer system for all. Doherty believes there is real savings to be made for all parties in moving to smartphone technology.
Motorists are also disadvantaged through the old systems, overfeeding parking machines to a tune of $2.25m per year, the survey has found. Queenslanders are paying a type of 'parking insurance' to protect themselves from receiving a fines in what has been termed 'parking fine paranoia'.
"We have a modern, more efficient and cheaper way of dealing with growing parking demand. Our system removes the use of on street ticket machines and their associated upkeep which allows councils to better allocate their budgets", concluded Doherty.
CellOPark is currently available for use in many locations around Australia. CellOPark supports tens of thousands of its members, who are already enjoying the benefits of Pay-by-App, Pay-by-Phone and ePermit parking technology.