What should have been a welcome improvement to their neighbourhood is a headache, say residents of a Fishing Point street who have lost on-street parking.
Lake Macquarie City Council recently spent $2 million installing kerb and guttering, a roadside footpath and double lines on Sealand Road, but residents say they now face the looming threat of a fine if they try to park on the street.
While they argue it has made it impossible for visitors to park near homes with small or full driveways, council insists the upgrades were a high priority for drainage reasons.
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The footpath replaced a dirt and gravel verge, where vehicles could previously pull off the road.
But combined with the new unbroken double lines on the street – which require a gap of at least three metres between the centre of the road and a parked vehicle – there’s no longer space for roadside parking.
It’s led to some residents and their visitors parking partially on the footpath and at least one warning note from a council ranger.
Paul Collins, who has lived in the street for 52 years, will outline the concerns at Monday’s council meeting.
“It leaves us with no safe, legal parking and we’re under threat of being fined every time we do so,” he said. “For 52 years that I’ve lived here, no-one has even been threatened to be booked and we now face that threat.”
Sandra McIlveen, a Sealand Road resident for more than four decades, said she’d had no luck in her attempts to get councillors to the street to see the situation.
“We’ve requested this on four occasions,” she said.
“Even if the double line was not there, we’d be able to park. We were totally unaware that we had a parking problem because in 45 years we have never ever had a parking problem.”
A council spokesperson said rangers were “working with residents in Sealand Road to understand their responsibilities when it comes to on-street parking”.
She said on-street parking was available at Arkington Avenue and Letchworth Parade.
“These works were identified as a high priority for the construction of kerb and gutter infrastructure to alleviate substantial drainage issues along this busy road, which were impacting on the existing road condition,” she said.
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“During the consultation period back in July 2016, council provided detailed information to all the property owners along both sides of Sealand Road.
“During that period council provided a sketch design with details including road width arrangements, proposed retaining wall and footpaths for owners’ consideration and comment.”
Mayor Kay Fraser said Monday’s meeting would “provide an opportunity for councillors to ask questions ... and determine whether any further actions are necessary”.
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