Fight taken to City Hall

The newly painted and clearly marked disabled parking bays. 165352

By Mandy Oakham

People power, with a little help from The Voice, has had a major victory in the long running battle of the bays, more specifically the disabled parking bays located outside of the Ocean Grove Medical Clinic in the Parade.
Local residents and business owners in The Grove are becoming increasingly frustrated over what is seen as a chaotic parking mess around the town’s central shopping centre.
One of those residents was Ralph Wright who was one of several angry locals contesting their $155 fine for parking in a disabled bay outside the Ocean Medical Clinic.
A quick site inspection by The Voice quickly revealed that the problem with the bays was obvious.
There are two signs indicating disabled parking bays but one of the signs has been bent and is partially covered with a sticker and only one of the designated disabled parking bays had a disabled symbol painted on the ground.
Mr Wright said on the day he was booked on 27 January he spoke with several other people outside the clinic who had also been fined $155 each.
“The whole situation is just ridiculous,” Ralph said.
“What about the situation if someone pulls in here with a medical emergency, they are not going to be checking where they can park and where they can’t park.
“I know from talking around the town with people that a lot of people have been caught by this inadequate signage.”
While the Ocean Grove Voice was on scene at least two people were about to park in the unmarked bays until advised.
One of those was Sally Cordner of Point Lonsdale who uses the car park regularly to visit the medical clinic.
“I did see the signs but when I saw only one bay had the disabled sign on it, I thought I was fine to park in the other bays,” Sally said.
“I would be very interested in the legality of fining people who park in the unmarked bays and I would be very worried about all the elderly people who would have trouble working out what was legal and what wasn’t.”
And now for the good news – within 48 hours of the site inspection and the Voice contacting the council about the problem a crew had been dispatched and the parking bays have now been repainted with one new and very clear disabled sticker on the second bay.
Signs however are still a problem with one sign having been vandalised and is partially obscured by a sticker.
City of Greater Geelong General Manager Will Tieppo told the Voice that the City had conducted extensive work in relation to parking in the Ocean Grove town centre to ensure the right mix of parking options was delivered for the demands in the area.
“After being alerted to this issue the City of Greater Geelong inspected the disabled parking bays in the car park next to the Ocean Grove Medical Clinic and repainted the parking bays and repaired the signage,” Mr Tieppo said.
“The City apologies for any inconvenience caused to motorists.
“Any motorists who received an infringement for parking in the disability access area will have that infringement withdrawn. Motorists who have already paid penalties can contact the City to be reimbursed.”
Speaking with the Voice after he had been informed that his parking fine had been waived, Ralph Wright said it was great news.
“There have been so many people affected by this signage problem and it is terrific that it has been finally sorted,” Ralph said.