Shorncliffe Commuters Warned of Fines for Parking Near Bayside Train Station

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Commuters in Shorncliffe and the surrounding suburbs have been left disgruntled after receiving warnings of potential fines amounting to $116 for parking in a popular bayside train station’s vicinity. 

The Queensland Rail car park’s limited capacity has led to commuters seeking alternative parking options, primarily at Hutchinson Park, which has traditionally served as an unofficial overflow parking area for the train station commuters.

In September 2023, local council inspectors took action by issuing dozens of residents with notices, cautioning them against parking their vehicles on the grass at Hutchinson Park. This move was met with frustration, as the fines carried a steep penalty of $116. The warning notices were placed under windscreen wipers, catching many unsuspecting commuters off guard.

Call for Formalised Parking

Jared Cassidy, a local councillor and the Labor Opposition leader, expressed the need for a formalised parking solution along the grassed area adjacent to Railway Parade, which borders Hutchinson Park. He urged the local administration to take action to address the parking issues.

In the interim, Cassidy encouraged frustrated locals to make use of available street parking options or the station’s car park when it is not at full capacity.

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Shorncliffe station
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Commuters’ Perspective

Christopher Berkley, a resident and regular commuter, shared his experience of receiving a warning ticket when the train station’s primary car park was full, compounded by reduced spaces due to construction equipment. Berkley criticised what he described as “bureaucracy gone mad” where the public was penalised for seeking alternatives when sufficient parking facilities were lacking.

He noted that the warnings have indeed had an impact, as train patrons have now resorted to parking on the side of the road and in surrounding streets. Some may have even opted to drive to work rather than use the train.

Berkley argued that parking at Hutchinson Park did not affect traffic or road safety, given the absence of nearby houses.

Council’s Stance on Safety and Environment

Councillor Kim Marx, Chair of City Standards, defended the council’s actions, stating that using Hutchinson Park for parking posed risks to pedestrians, other motorists, and the environment, including potential damage to underground infrastructure. She cited six complaints and 21 zero-value warnings issued this year alone, emphasizing the importance of adhering to parking rules.

Under State Government regulations, parking on a nature strip is generally prohibited unless otherwise signposted.

The Path to Legal Parking

Councillor Cassidy explained that the only viable way to enable legal parking at Hutchinson Park would be to realign the park’s boundaries and formalise parking arrangements. Similar measures at Boondall train station along Aberdeen Parade have successfully limited illegal parking.

Cassidy acknowledged the limited parking availability at Shorncliffe train station and suggested exploring alternative options, such as the larger Sandgate Train Station car park and nearby street parking, to avoid fines.

Published 12-Oct-2023