Sixth Street, Murray Bridge loading zone, brought on by safety issues at regional gallery and town tall, irks traders

Parking time limits have been reintroduced on Sixth Street, Murray Bridge, and several bays moved around despite resistance from traders.

Two-hour time limits now apply to some parking bays, a disabled park has moved, and a loading zone has been created on the eastern side of the street for people staging art exhibitions and performances.

The reason: the loading doors at the back of the town hall and regional gallery are not fit for purpose, according to council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman.

That put council staff and volunteers at risk of a workplace accident.

"The loading facilities ... don't meet workplace health and safety standards and there's some questions about whether they meet the building code," Mr Sedgman told councillors at their November meeting.

"They can't be used effectively."

Gallery director Melinda Rankin said staff and volunteers had almost come to grief at least once.

"Over the last six months we have had multiple occasions where a truck collecting or delivering artwork is unable to access the space because cars were already parked there," she said in a letter which was included in the council’s agenda.

"Trucks have double parked in the street; large, heavy items have been wrestled around corners and down the ramp onto the main street; items of substantial value have been exposed to inclement weather."

Resistance to the parking changes was strong among Sixth Street's business owners at first.

Murray Bridge Hotel owner Karen Milesi, property owner Ian Zadow and his tenants – Sully's Locksmith, Pure on Sixth, Delhi Express and Balcony on Sixth – all strongly opposed a draft of the changes.

Balcony on Sixth's NT Snow said his motel's guests wanted to park directly outside so they did not need to carry heavy suitcases far, and so they could keep an eye on their cars.

"Without this facility my motel business will simply die," he said.

Mrs Milesi said the loading bay was not needed by businesses.

"The only real beneficiary at this stage appears to be the council itself," she said.

But Mr Sedgman told councillors the plan had been updated in response to that feedback, so that no car parks would be lost, and that most business owners were now satisfied.

Fourty-six people voted in an online poll about the changes, hosted by The Standard; a majority believed Sixth Street did not need time limits or a loading zone.

The gallery and town hall have hosted 23 exhibitions and 37 events, respectively, in the past year.