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A smart way to park
Parking around the city has never been easier with Council’s new smart meter technology.
Council installed Australian-made parking meters in December 2022 and are now fully operational.
The rollout features two types of solar-powered meters including coin, card and app operated meters for 2P parking spots, and card operated meters featuring a 17cm colour touch screen LED display for selected 2P spots and all 4P and 8P parking spots.
The rollout also includes the new ‘Townsville Parking’ app, which has been tailored to meet the parking needs of our residents. The app allows users to pay for their parking without needing to go to the meter.
This smart technology works by using each vehicle’s number plate as its identifier, removing the need for printed tickets to be displayed on vehicles.
Features still include 15 minutes FREE in all 2P parking spots – TIME LIMITS APPLY. You will have the option of selecting a stand-alone 15-minute free session at a meter, or if you pay, the 15 minutes will be applied as a grace period at the end of the session.
This upgrade not only offers the most up-to-date and sustainable technology, but still allows people to use their spare change to pay at selected 2P parking meters.
Townsville city features a range of parking facilities from 15-minute free parking to 8-hour paid all day parking. Regulated parking is in place Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, unless signed otherwise.
For more information, download the Townsville City Car Parking Map (PDF, 1.0 MB)
How to use our parking meters
How to use the Townsville Parking app
Frequently Asked Questions
Replacement of the meters
- Why are we replacing the meters?
Our previous car parking meters were well past their useful life, outdated, and couldn’t be economically maintained.
The old parking meters were costing Council more to maintain than they were to replace. The maintenance was uneconomical as the parking meters were no longer manufactured in France and replacement parts were near impossible to source.
- How much was the maintenance cost on the old meters?
- Over $1 million was spent over the past 3 years and $5 million over the 10+ year life of the old meters.
- How much did we pay for the current meters when they were installed?
- The previous meters cost $10,000 each when they were purchased well over 10 years ago. The new meters cost $6,000 each.
- Is the $1.05 million for the project a new cost?
No. Car parking meters are an asset and are depreciated over their useful life.
Council has asset lifecycle plans and funds in place to replace assets at the end of useful life. The parking meters asset plan is being implemented with the accumulated and budgeted funds available.
The $1.05 million is the total cost of the project including purchase installation, signage, and education for the community on the new Townsville Parking app.
- Are these new meters also from overseas like the old ones?
- No. These are an Australian product that is already in use by other local councils such as Toowoomba.
The new way to park in the city
- Will city parking time limits still apply?
Yes, the 2-hour, 4-hour and 8-hour paid parking limit signage across the city will still apply.
The maximum time you can park and pay for corresponds to the space you are using.
The first 15 minutes are free if you are parking in a 2P area. You will have the option of selecting just a 15-minute free session at the meter. This option is at the meter only.
- Are there any changes to 15 minutes free parking?
- No. You will have the option of selecting just a 15-minute free session at the meter, or if you pay, the 15 minutes will be applied at the end of the session. The extended 15-minute period won’t be reflected on the session end time however enforcement will occur after the 15-minute grace period has expired.
- How much is it to park?
With the renewal of the meters there has been no change to the cost of parking. Charges have not changed for over 11 years.
Credit card charges will be a minimum charge of $1. This is a decrease from the current charge of $2. If paying by coin for selected 2P meters, it is a minimum of 10 cents that is accepted.
Increments on how it is charged is different between the machine and the smartphone app.
Further information on the incremental charges can be found below under the Townsville Parking app heading.
- Will cash and card payment options continue?
- Yes, you will have the choice of paying by card at the meter or via the new Townsville Parking app for 4-hour and 8-hour paid parking areas. You will have the choice to pay via coin or card at selected 2P meters or through the new Townsville Parking app for 2-hour paid parking areas.
- Will there still be coined meters?
- Yes, selected city 2-hour paid parking areas will accept payment by coins.
- Will I still be able to pay for a park using a pay station?
- Yes. Two models of pay stations will be installed that will accept card-only payments. Selected 2-hour paid parking meters will allow a combination of coin and card.
- Why don’t I have to display a ticket?
- As a result of the new technology, you no longer need to display a parking ticket in your vehicle when parking in ticketed lots. It will minimise the inconvenience of having to return to the car to display tickets, while reducing paper waste.
- Vehicle registration numbers - what will mine be used for?
- Compliance purposes require access to and use of registration numbers. Whenever an infringement occurs, it must be accompanied by a registration number. Now we can determine payment and overstay by linking the registration number with payment technology, rather than walking from car to car to observe such transactions. We will not be collecting or disclosing any of your personal information.
- How do infringement notices work?
- As per the current system, parking infringements will be issued by parking inspectors and placed on the windscreen as per the current practice.
- How do I receive a receipt when paying for parking?
If you are at a 2P coin machine, you are required to enter your receipt code into myparkingticket.com.au to receive an emailed receipt. The receipt number will appear on the screen just after the payment is processed. You need to record this to be able to later obtain your receipt from the website.
If you are at a meter where it accepts card only, you can scan a QR code and this will bring up your receipt in which you are able to receive an emailed receipt. Alternatively, enter the receipt code online at myparkingticket.com.au.
If you are unable to retrieve the receipt code online, Customer Service can raise an Information Request for you. Please provide:
- the Meter ID or Meter Name
- your Licence Plate Number
- the date and time the parking session occurred.
To contact Customer Service, phone 13 48 10 or email email@example.com to retrieve your receipt code.
- I selected 15mins free parking but now I need to stay longer. The meter won’t let me add money until my 15mins is up. What do I do?
- Currently you can’t have two sessions with the same meter. You can either wait until the session has expired or use another meter in that section of street e.g. the cross street on either side such as Walker Street between Stokes and Stanley Streets.
- My time is up in 20 minutes, but I need to stay longer. Can I top it up now? Do I need to move my car?
You can stay longer if you don’t exceed the time limit in that area. For example, if you park in a 4P zone, then you can only stay for a total of 4 hours. You can top up as many times as you like if you don’t stay past the time restrictions.
To top up your parking using the meters:
- Go to Paid Parking
- Enter Number Plate
- The meter will tell you how long you have left and give you the option to top up.
To top up your parking using the smartphone app:
- Stop the session when you have finished parking.
- I’ve forgotten how long my parking is valid for. How can I check?
For the coin and card meters (you must use the meter that you paid with):
- Tap the information button
- Tap the “Car with P” icon
- Enter your number plate
- The screen will show your time remaining.
For the card-only meters (you must use the meter that you paid with):
- Enter your number plate and the machine will show the time remaining. You can also access your E-Receipt here.
Townsville Parking app
- How will the new Townsville Parking App work?
The Townsville Parking App that will be implemented is currently being used daily by other Councils throughout the country. The app will be tailored for Townsville.
Council is building an easy-to-understand user guide and videos to ensure that before the new meters are in – you will know what to do and how to do it.
- When will the Townsville Parking app be available to download and use?
- The meters are fully operational and the app is available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Search “Townsville Parking” to download.
- How does the Townsville Parking app work?
- Once you park your car you ‘start’ a parking session. When you return to the car you ‘stop’ your session. Payment via the app is only made once you press 'stop' to end the parking session. You will only be charged for the time you are there. On the app it is $1 minimum then in 2P it increases by increments of 25 cents which is 15 minutes. In 4P it increases only in increments of $1. In 8P it increases in increments of $1 up to $6 which is the maximum charged for anything over 6 hours.
- How long do I have to sign up for?
- A binding period does not exist. You can cancel your subscription anytime.
- What payment method does the Townsville Parking app accept?
- It is possible to pay with a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.
- Can someone help me download and set up the app?
Yes, you can find help at the Flinders St Library, and in the Customer Service Centre (temporarily in 143 Walker Street).
There will also be officers in the first few months patrolling the city to help the community through this transition.
- Why should I use the Townsville Parking app?
- Parking in the city will be quicker and easier through this new smart parking system, which allows people to pay without a trip to the meter.
- What if I enter my registration number incorrectly?
Council will use discretion when issuing fines for genuine mistakes. In the case you believe you shouldn't have been fined for your infringement, you can appeal the decision.
To edit your registration number in the app, simply go to Profile > My Account > Manage Vehicles > Select the pencil icon to edit your vehicle details.
- Is there a ticket I need to display in my car?
- Is there a ticket I need to display in my car? If you pay with the app or through the parking meter, you will be asked for your number plate, which will act as your ticket. A paper ticket will not be provided.
- When I park, how do I know how much time I have left?
- The time remaining on your parking meter can be found by entering your number plate into the initial parking meter used. On the app the parking session will continue until you either stop the session or it reaches the maximum time allowed in that area. On the app it will show you how long you have been parked.
- I don’t own a smartphone; how can I pay for parking?
- Selected meters in 2P areas accept coins or cards. Payments are only accepted via card transactions in 4P and 8P parking areas.
- When time runs out, will the Townsville Parking app alert you?
- No. When using the app, the session will continue until you either stop the session or it reaches the maximum period allowed in that area.
- Does the Townsville Parking app allow me to reserve parking spaces?
- No, you cannot reserve spaces.
- Does the Townsville Parking app work if I use more than one car?
- Yes, you will be able to register multiple vehicle registration numbers for selection through the app when parking.
- Does the Townsville Parking app accommodate the free 15 minutes of parking?
- You need to visit a meter if you require free parking for 15 minutes only. If you pay via the app, the 15 minutes will be applied at the end of the session. The extended 15-minute period won’t be reflected on the session end time however enforcement will occur after the 15-minute grace period has expired.
- If I forget to end the parking session, what should I do?
- It will never exceed the maximum parking time in the area you choose.
- What is the location where the Townsville Parking app can be used?
- Within the Townsville city parking area. You can view the map here.
- What if I forget to stop the app when I get back in the car and leave – will I get a fine?
- You will only get a fine if your car is physically in the spot and you have either overstayed the time restriction (over 4 hours in a 4P zone) or you have overstayed the time you have paid for.
- How do I top up my session on the app?
- Simply stop the session once you have finished your parking session.
- I’ve parked my car in an 8P zone and have started my parking session in the app. I then move my car at lunchtime and can’t find a spot when I return in the same 8P zone but have found a park in an adjacent 8P zone. Do I need to stop my session at lunchtime or can my session be carried over to another zone?
- This scenario is the same as the previous parking system where you could move around (e.g. moving from one 8P zone to another 8P zone). As long as you have started your session in the app, you can move between paid parking zones. Please remember that time restrictions still apply. An infringement will occur when you haven’t started your paid parking session in the app and when you exceed the time restrictions in that zone (e.g. staying for 3 hours in a 2P zone).
Any additional changes?
- Are there any changes to disabled parking?
- No. There will be no change to how disabled parking operates. The app is not required to be used. Permits are still required to be displayed.
- Are there any different charges for concession card holders or pensioners?
- No. This remains unchanged with the renewal of the meters.
- Need help or further information?
- You can call us on 13 48 10.
Download a printable copy of the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 418.7 KB)
Council recognises the use of Disability Parking Permits issued by any state or national authority. Your permit entitles free unlimited parking in any disabled parking bay or zone and in any timed parking area where the time permitted is half an hour or greater.
You may not park in any loading zones, no stopping zones, bus zones or any 5 or 15 minute parking areas for longer than the time specified on the traffic signage applicable to the parking space.
Tow Away Zone
Flinders Street between Denham and Stanley Streets is closed 3am to 3pm every Sunday for the Cotters Markets. This area is a tow-away zone from 3am on Sunday mornings.
Parking restrictions are clearly marked and car recovery is at owner's expense.
To recover a towed car please contact ABC Towing on (07) 4775 5561.
Electric Car Recharging Stations
Free electric car recharging stations are available at two locations, with specially marked on-street parking bays:
- Palmer Street, South Townsville
- The Strand, North Ward.
A driver must not stop in a loading zone if signage applicable to the zone indicates it is for Commercial Vehicles Only, unless the driver is driving:
- A bus that is dropping off, or picking up passengers; or
- A truck that is dropping off, or picking up, passengers or goods; or
- A motor vehicle displaying a commercial vehicle identification label issued by the local government.
Under the Transport Operations Road Use Management Act, commercial vehicles are determined by body type - namely utilities, vans or small trucks - not passenger vehicles or registration type through Queensland Transport. If signage applicable to the zone only states 'loading zone' you may stop there if you are driving a motor vehicle that is dropping off, or picking up, goods; or dropping off, or picking up, passengers.
A driver who is permitted to stop in a loading zone under section (1) (a), (b) or (c) must not stay continuously in the zone for longer than:
- 30 minutes, or
- if information on or with the loading zone signs applying to the loading zone indicates another time - the indicated time.
A driver who is permitted to stop in a loading zone must not stay continuously in the zone for more than 20 minutes.
A driver who is permitted to stop in a loading zone section must not stay continuously in the zone for longer than two minutes.
Standard school zone hours across the city are between the hours of 8am to 9am and 2:30pm to 3:30pm with the exception of the below.
8am to 4pm, 40 kilometre per hour speed limit signs for the following school locations:
- Burke Street, North Ward near Townsville Grammar School
- Morindo Drive, Kirwan near Ryan Catholic College
The following schools have varied school hour zones:
- Bohlevale State School - Bohlevale School Rd, Bohlevale: 7:30am to 9am and 2pm to 3:30pm
- Northern Beaches High School, Merati St, Deeragun: 2:30pm to 4pm
- The Cathedral School, Thompson St, Mundingburra: 8am to 9am and 2:30pm to 4pm
- Townsville Grammar Senior School, Paxton St, North Ward: 2:30pm to 4pm
Request to waive a parking infringement
Applicants may also submit written correspondence via email or post. Applicants must detail the vehicle's registration & penalty infringement notice/offence number. Audit requirements indicate that when submitting written correspondence for parking fines that the original penalty infringement notice and original ticket/s purchased from Council parking machines must be supplied. Photocopied documents are not sufficient for consideration of waiver.
Download the Request to Waive Parking Infringement application (PDF, 596.7 KB).
Obstructing a Footpath or Driveway
Under Queensland legislation, a driver must not stop on a footpath, shared path, dividing strip/nature strip, on or adjacent to a length of road, unless official traffic signage approves parking in that location. This also includes the section of driveway outside your property boundary. This will not only save you from any pesky fines, but also keeps our neighbourhoods safe for pedestrians.
For more information read the Queensland Government’s Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Road Rules) Regulation 2009 - Division 6, section 198.
On stadium event days, parking is free from 2pm in the CBD.
Did you know that on weekdays when there is an event at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Council offers free parking in the CBD? You will not need to display a ticket on your vehicle after 2pm.
Please note: Stadium Restricted Parking within blue and orange zones still apply – for more information view our Stadium Restricted Parking Area map.