What is ‘commuter car parking’ or ‘Australian Government-funded commuter car parks’?

The Australian Government is investing $368 million towards additional free car parking near train stations across Melbourne. The investment is part of their Urban Congestion Fund to encourage greater use of public transport.

Council has received funding to undertake feasibility studies on locations to improve commuter car parking on Council-owned land. One of these locations is near Canterbury Station.

How was the proposed site selected?

As part of the funding agreement with the Australian Government, we can only investigate sites owned by Council. We do not own the Station Railway Place car park next to Canterbury Gardens. The Victorian Government has undertaken investigation works for this site directly. Extra car parking near Canterbury Station could help achieve some of the community’s aims, detailed in the Maling Road Place Plan. Creating more off-street car parking can free up public space and encourage people to visit the area and support local businesses. We conducted feasibility studies on 2 Council owned sites around Canterbury Station to decide the most suitable location.

We selected sites based on whether they are:

  • within walking distance of the station
  • existing car parking sites on Council-owned land (to ensure no change in land use)
  • able to support long-term and some short-term parking.
  • Why are we considering Canterbury?

    Canterbury Station is on the Lilydale and Belgrave Metro train lines and has limited car parking for commuters. The Australian Government funding in the City of Boroondara aims to increase car parking along the rail network at Canterbury, Camberwell, and Glenferrie to encourage use of public transport. We also hope new car parking will be used by shoppers and diners on weekends and evenings. More short-term parking would also help to support the Maling Road Place Plan.

    How much of ratepayers’ money is Council spending on this project?

    If we are successful in receiving Australian Government funding for this project, no Council funding will be required. The government has provided an in-principal agreement to fully fund the project.

    What conditions has the Australian Government stipulated on funding?

    The site investigated must be council land, the proposed long term car parks must be free and must support people who travel on public transport. We have only committed and received funding from the Australian Government for the feasibility studies so far. No ramifications have been noted if the funds are not used.

    Will parking be free?

    Yes, these additional car parking spaces will be free.

    Will the additional parking be short or long term?

    We propose a mix of long-term parking and some short-term parking. This parking is available to the community, including people catching trains and buses from Canterbury or visitors to the area. The short term parking is to support the Maling Road Place Plan.

    What impact will the proposed additional parking have on our city’s carbon footprint?

    The proposed additional car parking would allow people to park their cars and catch the train. This would limit the number of cars travelling to and from the CBD and other central locations. We have also considered providing bicycle parking and charging stations for electric vehicles and electric bicycles.

    Our local roads are already congested. What impacts will these projects have on congestion?

    We have undertaken independent traffic reports to understand what impact adding car parking capacity at the Wattle Valley Road site might have on local traffic.

    Based on the proposed increase in traffic volumes, the cars will have to wait longer to turn at intersections peak times. The traffic volume is not expected to materially alter the performance or safety of surrounding roads.

    How will Council address congestion issues?

    Should this project proceed, Council will put measures in place to improve the Wattle Valley Road and Canterbury Road intersection to ease existing congestion issues and improve the flow of traffic onto Canterbury Road.

    We would consider several recommendations, such as:

  • providing a clear 8-metre carriageway on Wattle Valley Road from the car park to Canterbury Road
  • slight widening at the intersection of Wattle Valley Road and Canterbury Road to create a line marked left and right-hand turn lane
  • extending the right-hand turn ban to evening peak
  • a ‘keep clear’ line marking at the car park entrance.
  • All potential congestion mitigation measures are subject to further risk analysis by expert traffic engineers.

    What will be done to address temporary loss of some parking during construction?

    The commuter parking project cannot be completed without some impacts on parking during construction. If the project proceeds, we will work with the contractor and trader association to identify ways of minimising the impacts, including a possible shuttle bus. We will also ensure that Maling Road is free from truck movements. Contractors would need to access the site off Wattle Valley Road if the project proceeds to construction. Most of the Bryson Street car park will remain as parking that is open during construction. Based on other large car park proposals in activity centres, such as Cato Square Prahran, the impacts can be managed during construction.

    How will safety and security issues be mitigated?

    We are aware of the importance of community safety in and around car parking facilities. We will engage a team of designers and technical experts, including security specialists, to provide advice on how the car park can be made safe 24 hours a day. Consideration would need to be given to the car park opening hours and restricted car park access at night.

    Where will construction equipment be stored?

    If the project proceeds to construction, the builder will submit a construction management plan. This plan would outline the management and storage of machines and equipment to minimise any impact to residents and properties. The storage of machines and equipment will have as little impact on the area as possible. The exact location of a building site office will be confirmed before construction starts and communicated to residents and traders.

    How will pedestrians safely access Maling Road and the station from the new car park?

    We are aware of the constrained pedestrian laneway that connects the existing car park with Maling Road. Although this is the shortest path, there are other routes that people may wish to use. If the project progresses consultants will provide advice about pedestrian safety in the car park and on routes between the car park and train station. The design will include an improved pedestrian crossing on Maling Road and directional signage between the car park and station. Council has improved the pavement surface in station laneways and will continue this surface improvement in mid-2022.

    See how we are connecting the laneways near Maling Road and the station.

    Will any private properties, businesses or open spaces be acquired to develop this car parking site?

    No. This car park would be developed on existing Council-owned land currently used for car parking. There will be no impact on existing residential and commercial properties or open space.

    I’m worried about multi-deck developments. How high would the car park be?

    There will not be a multi-deck development. The current proposal is for a basement development, with no significant changes at ground level. The proposal is to create approximately 200 car parking spaces (which includes the existing 85 spaces on site) across 2 underground basement levels and the existing surface level. This includes some short-term parks to support the Place Plan and improve the streetscape where people shop and dine.

    Has our community asked for more car parking?

    Throughout the development of several Council Plans and Strategies, our community has told us that adjusting car parking to better suit their needs is a key priority.

    These existing plans and strategies include:

    Maling Road Place Plan

    Relocating some on-street and surface level car parking into off-street facilities has the potential to unlock more public space and opportunities for visitors to shop, dine and explore Maling Road.

    Integrated Transport Strategy

    Aims to provide improved travel and access within, to and from Boroondara. It aims to provide improved public transport, walking and cycling provision, and manage private car travel more effectively, including through park and ride facilities.

    Boroondara Community Plan 2021-31

    • Theme 4: Neighbourhood Character and Heritage
    • Strategy 4.4: New development positively contributes to amenity and liveability through design excellence.
    • Theme 5: Moving Around
    • Strategy 5.2: Traffic congestion is better managed through advocacy to State and Federal governments for changes to main roads.
    • Strategy 5.5: Sustainable transport use is encouraged and supported through delivery of green travel programs and advocacy to State and Federal Governments.