Wollongong shoppers and market stallholders have accused Wollongong City Council of missing the point on the city's parking shortage, just days out from the official introduction of parking meters.From Monday, motorists will be charged a $2 flat fee to park in half-hour, one-hour or two-hour zones, no matter how long they stay in the space. Around the city, 141 "pay and display" parking ticket machines covering the 850 metered spaces will dispense tickets for motorists to display on their dashboards. Meter maids minus the bikinis in Wollongong"Topping up" the meters will be illegal and motorists who overstay the time limit, whether or not they have a valid ticket, will be fined from Monday.Council staff yesterday set up a "pay and display" parking machine and information tent alongside market stallholders in Crown St Mall. Only a few people stopped to ask questions, with much of the confusion about the rules affecting disabled people parking in metered spaces.Mobility parking scheme permit holders are exempt from paying for parking, while there will be no change to existing rules allowing them to park for up to two hours in half-hour spaces and for an unlimited time in two-hour spaces.Staff yesterday handed out maps showing the location of 32 free 15-minute spaces and the distribution of metered spaces. Rangers will also walk the streets next week to answer questions.Yesterday, there was little support for the paid parking scheme from either shoppers or market stallholders.Julie Bullock of Warilla said the shortage of parking already discouraged her from shopping in Wollongong and paid parking would be the final straw."I think it sucks. They have shot themselves in the foot," she said."They should be creating free parking because they are begging for more people to come into Wollongong to shop."If I have to pay for parking, forget it. I'll go to Shellharbour."Weekly stallholder Terry Masterson said the meters would be detrimental to small business."It will drive people to free parking centres like Westfield and therefore small business suffers at the expense of larger business."