Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Pop­ping to the shops to pick up a few things for din­ner? If you don’t al­ready pay for park­ing in your main street, you might have to in fu­ture.

Auck­land Transport is propos­ing to in­tro­duce park­ing charges in metropoli­tan ar­eas and town cen­tres where de­mand is high.

Eller­slie Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion town cen­tre man­ager Sally Eus­tace does not sup­port the idea.

‘‘I’d be ab­so­lutely against any sort of paid park­ing but if it’s forced upon us I be­lieve some of that park­ing fee should go back into our com­mu­nity.’’

The 30-minute park­ing zone on Eller­slie Main High­way works well and if shop­pers need longer there are car parks with a two or three-hour time limit, she says.

A big­ger is­sue is the peo­ple who park in res­i­den­tial streets and take the train into the city.

She would like to see a park and ride fa­cil­ity near the train sta­tion.

Eller­slie Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Bryan John­son agrees.

‘‘The res­i­dents who live close to the town cen­tre are an­noyed that their streets fill up with peo­ple who park all day be­cause it means visi­tors can’t park close by,’’ he says.

A two-hour limit on res­i­den­tial streets within 100 to 200 me­tres of the shop­ping cen­tre may be the so­lu­tion, John­son says.

Eus­tace sug­gests Auck­land Transport pro­vide a se­cure, weather-proof lock-up for bikes at the train sta­tion to en­cour­age peo­ple to cy­cle rather than drive to Eller­slie.

St He­liers Bay Vil­lage As­so­ci­a­tion Main­street man­ager Wendy Casper­sonn says time re­stric­tions work well in the area be­cause they are closely mon­i­tored by park­ing of­fi­cers.

‘‘[Paid park­ing] would be the death of the vil­lage. Peo­ple would just go to Eastridge Shop­ping Cen­tre or Sylvia Park where park­ing is free. As a vil­lage you think it’s friendly, easy and invit­ing. It would just go against the grain.’’

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