60th anniversary of Brisbane’s first parking meters

Parking meter. Undated, photographer unidentified. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland collection

Parking meter. Undated, photographer unidentified. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland collection

On August 5, 1957, Brisbane’s first parking meters were introduced in the heart of the city. Approximately 200 meters were installed the previous day in Queen and Adelaide Streets, between George and Wharf Streets, as part of the planned roll-out of 2,000 parking meters throughout the inner city and Fortitude Valley.

The metered parking on Queen Street cost 6d per 30 minutes (approximately 80 cents today). Over-parking resulted in a fine of £1 (equivalent of $30 in 2017).

Front page of the Courier-Mail, August 6, 1957. (In copyright)

Front page of the Courier-Mail, August 6, 1957. (In copyright)

Brisbane lord mayor Reginald Groom stated there would be no leniency on the first day of operation – “The main principle of parking meter enforcement is that it must be strict and scrupulously fair. Anybody who can read a notice and drive a car efficiently should be able to cope with the meters. I see no reason why the rules should not be strictly enforced from the start.”

The Courier-Mail reported fifty cars were ticketed on the first day of operations. “If motorists continue to be fined at yesterday’s rate, meter receipts should far exceed City Council expectations. The council has budgeted for nearly £70 a day from 200 meters, in fees as well as fines”, reported the newspaper.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland