From Balmoral to Bondi, Sydney’s most expensive street parking

In comparison, Melbourne’s CBD has an hourly rate of $7 for on-street parking, while London charges up to $18 an hour and New York City charges up to $11 an hour.

Peak hour parking in inner-city suburbs like Surry Hills, Ultimo and Pyrmont is $5.60 per hour, while off-peak parking is $3.60, a 20 cent increase from last year.

The City of Sydney has 9,074 metered parking spaces, including 1,470 in the CBD, which raised $28.1 million for the council in 2021-22.

“Roadside space is a priority in Sydney and we give space for walking, cycling and public transport to private on-street commuter parking,” said a spokeswoman for the council.

She said the parking fees were used to cover the cost of maintaining and running parking meters and “other related equipment,” while the rest was spent on other community services.

“There is high demand for parking in the CBD and we limit the total amount of time a vehicle can park in one spot to encourage efficient zoning,” she said. “This also supports local businesses as it helps attract more people in and out of the city.”


A spokeswoman for North Sydney Council said the 192 high-demand paid parking spaces encouraged frequent rotation of parking spaces.

North Sydney Council made about $7 million in 2021-22 from on-street parking meters, parking permits and building zones – a third of that revenue was spent on the costs of running parking meters.

While motorists can park for up to $10 an hour at Balmoral Beach, limited free parking is available for two hours on side streets and one block from the beach.

A spokeswoman for Mosman Council said parking fees were increased last year for the first time since 2014, bringing the cost of on-street parking back up to beaches in the north.


“Following the changes, there was no reduction in visits to Balmoral over the summer, with the fees helping to cover the cost of impacting the significant number of visitors attracted to Mosman and the maintenance of our beaches, reserves and roads,” said she called.

Paid parking on the northern beaches is $10 an hour or $40 a day during peak season (October 1 through April 30) and drops to $8 an hour or $35 a day the rest of the year.

The council made about $5.5 million in 2021-22 from its parking meters, which Chief Executive Ray Brownlee said helped pay for community services like lifeguards, road repairs and bike lane construction.

Meanwhile, unlimited parking in Bondi and Bronte Beach car parks is $1830 per year if you don’t live in the Waverley Council area, or $165 per year for locals.


The cost of on-street parking, charged by local authorities, is far cheaper than privately operated car parks, which cost up to $29 for 30 minutes in Sydney’s CBD.

David Levinson, professor of transport at the University of Sydney, said cheap parking is causing bottlenecks as residents and workers eat up parking spaces and make it harder for visitors to find a space.

“When scarce commodities such as road space, urban parking spaces and clean air are undervalued, overconsumption (congestion, lack of parking space, pollution) occurs, wasting everyone’s time and money,” he said. “Roads and parking lots should be reasonably priced, just like other scarce market commodities.”

Levinson said paid parking is more efficient because it discourages people from staying longer than necessary and allows more people to reach local destinations.

He said on-street parking imposes costs on society in the form of wider streets than would be required if people had to park their cars on their own property.

“Why would people who don’t have cars pay taxes that support wider streets just so other people, some of whom have more than one car per adult, can park their cars on the street for free?” he said.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Login here. From Balmoral to Bondi, Sydney’s most expensive street parking

Justin Scaccy

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