DOZENS of locals will have to find somewhere else to park from Saturday with the closure of a Tamworth CBD carpark.
The all-day free carpark off Dowe Street is set to shut on February 28 - less than three weeks after it was sold by council to a private owner.
The sign appeared mid-way through this week warning users the site would "cease to operate as a public carpark", from Friday.
"The closest free all-day car park is at the rear of Tamworth Community Centre accessed via Darling Street or Peel Street," the council sign states.
Council is yet to announce who it sold the carpark to, or what it was sold for. The deal was done behind closed doors, in a closed council meeting because of commercial-in-confidence reasons - which is standard practice for land selloffs by local government.
It's not known if the carpark will be cordoned off, or who will police the area from Saturday.
But it wasn't without comment from councillors who voiced frustration from community members about the "lack of consistency" in Tamworth's parking metres and council-owned carparks.
At the meeting, councillors Helen Tickle and Juanita Wilson voiced public concerns, including confusion surrounding White Street which has four-hour parking restrictions at one end, but a two-hour metered restriction at the other end.
Councillors said the parking confusion is causing road rage among shoppers, with councillors told of some people who are so fed up they have opted to shop in Gunnedah.
The 10-year parking plan was developed after it was revealed the city will need an extra 40 long-term parking spots each year to meet demand, if Tamworth is to meet its population target of 100,000 people by 2041.
A multi-storey carpark has been flagged in the strategy as one possible measure to meet demand. Any carparking measures in the city boundary carry a cost, council documents reveal.
According to council, the most basic on-road carpark costs $11,000 including construction and land purchase, plus ongoing maintenance.
There's already 3,744 council-owned spaces in the CBD and 20 per cent of those cost to park in.
There are 15 off-street carparks in the CBD and 61 per cent of those are occupied during peak business hours. Hill Street, town hall, Griffin Avenue, RSL and Ray Walsh House South have proved the most popular places to leave the car.
The report to councillors said the other half of council's carparks are under-utilised, which means there's about 400 vacant spaces across four sites during the busiest time of the day, council said.