Frustrated businesses pull their hair out over lack of CBD parking

Analise Zammit and Isabel Vella are concerned about a lack of parking in Penrith. Photo: Megan Dunn
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Local hair salon owner Isabel Vella says a lack of all day Penrith CBD parking is affecting her business, as staff and clients cop hefty fines.

With hair dying appointments sometimes taking up to six or seven hours, the 20-year-old said her clients are being robbed of the luxurious and relaxing service they are paying for, as they are forced to leave multiple times to move their vehicles.

“I have had multiple clients leave with a fine on their windscreen and it is unfair when they are coming to support and spend their money at a small local business,” Ms Vella said.

“My clients spend multiple hours in the salon – sometimes up to six to seven hours – and have to leave with foils or colour or wet hair just to move their cars.”

Ms Vella has recently had three clients leave, all blaming parking issues.
Situated on Woodriff Street, The Cabello Room is surrounded by a mix of timed parking, with the closest all day parking on the top floor of Judges Car Park or at the Derby Street dirt car park.

Ms Vella said these are full well before the business opens.
After contacting Penrith Council, Ms Vella was directed to park at the nine hour North Street car park.

Business owner Isabel Vella. Photo: Megan Dunn

“We work 12 hours on a Wednesday so the nine hours doesn’t help, neither does the safety of women having to walk 20 minutes to their cars at 9pm or even in the dark,” she said.

Ms Vella said she knows she is not the only one and fears that this will influence clientele to stick to mobile or in-home salons.

A spokesperson from Penrith Council said they work with the Penrith Chamber of Commerce and Penrith CBD Corporation to ensure existing parking is optimised.

“Parking management is a complex issue as shoppers, workers and commuters vie for available spaces,” the spokesperson said.

“There is a mix of parking throughout the City – ranging from 10, 15 and 30 minute zones through to one, two, three and nine hour zones as well as All Day parking – which promotes greater business activity and provides availability of spaces to shoppers in the City.”

Ms Vella recently started a petition calling on Penrith Council to better support small businesses. To sign the petition, visit

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