No Parking? No Problem: Park and Ride, Newcastle's solution / by Brooke Tunbridge

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How does saving more than $1,000 a year sound? If you're making the commute driving into Newcastle, chances are this is useful to you. The new park and ride service which began on 6th November is helping take cars off the roads, promoting public transport and freeing up car spaces to help local businesses. If you're not already convinced, it's free for the first three months. 

The trial service is a Newcastle City Council-led initiative with the supoprt of Newcastle Transport and the State Government. It operates from McDonald Jones Stadium and travels into the CBD.  

“A park and ride is another example of how by working together we can achieve great results for our city. Partnering with Transport for NSW, Newcastle Transport, Venues NSW, Revitalising Newcastle and Hunter Development Corporation, we are delivering a win-win for business and for commuters while the light rail construction occurs,” Lord Mayor of Newcastle Cr Nuatali Nelmes said.

Nelmes sees the park and ride option as a solution to ease the pressure of parking in the CBD. 

The idea is that commuters leave their car at a designated parking area at McDonald Jones Stadium and board a bus into the city. The service runs every 15 minutes between 6.30am and 8.30am and again in the afternoon between 4.30pm and 6pm.  

After leaving the stadium, the bus will turn left onto Turton Road, travel along Lambton Road, Belford and Tudor Streets before turning onto Parry Street. It will then run along King Street, turn left onto Watt Street before terminating at Customs House. 

Set-down points will be at Marketown on King Street, the corner of King and Auckland Streets, the corner of King and Perkins Streets and Customs House. 

The return service to McDonald Jones Stadium at Broadmeadow will depart from Customs House every 15 minutes between 4.30pm and 6pm. The pick-up points will be the same as the inbound service. 

The park and ride service will be free for the first three months, with the cost of parking switching to just $2 a day from 29 January. 

Commuters will be required to pre-register for a free permit, with the service limited to the capacity of the parking area. Permits will be available via newcastle.nsw.gov.au/parkandride or by calling Council on 02 4974 2000. 

The trial service will be reviewed after 12 months, in the mean time, there are dates the stadium will be unavailable due to events, so it's best to check before you go. Find out more info on the Park and Ride website.

Have you used the service? Tell us your experience in the comments.