New bays for tourist van parks

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil plans to ex­tend three park­ing spa­ces on He­tana St to al­low park­ing for long-wheel-base ve­hi­cles such as camper­vans.

Two 9-me­tre bays and an 11m bay will be cre­ated out­side the pub­lic toi­lets and have signs di­rect­ing camper­vans there.

Coun­cil ser­vice de­liv­ery man­ager Fiona Vessey said it was a short-term so­lu­tion to help pre­vent camper­vans park­ing in the off­street carpark be­hind the Gate­house.

Camper­vans are not al­lowed to park there for safety rea­sons and a sign at the en­trance clearly says so.

The Chron­i­cle saw two camper­vans parked in the carpark on Mon­day morn­ing, within two me­tres from the warn­ing sign. A third camper­van was parked across four spa­ces in the car park at Rail­side by the Green .

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately, I think the is­sue here is camper­van driver be­hav­iour, which can be very dif­fi­cult to change,’’ Ms Vessey said.

The coun­cil was work­ing with key stake­hold­ers in the com­mu­nity to come up with a longer term so­lu­tion, she said.

Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Daryl An­der­son said the lack of park­ing op­tions for camper­vans was a con­cern.

‘‘It’s a safety is­sue. We want to stop them go­ing into the He­tana St carpark and move them some­where they will feel con­fi­dent and safe.’’

The board was ask­ing the coun­cil to al­lo­cate space at the Rail­side by the Green to cre­ate an­gle park­ing for at least 10 long­wheel-base ve­hi­cles.

It would also like clear signs di­rect­ing driv­ers there and a height bar­rier im­posed on the He­tana St carpark.

Com­ments on the Chron­i­cle Face­book page showed sup­port for camper­van spa­ces.

Deb­bie Parker said camper­vans parked in an­gle parks on the main streets were a risk to other driv­ers.

‘‘They are so long when you want to re­verse out of a carpark, you can­not see what is com­ing.’’

Per­sonal or busi­ness do­na­tions can be made di­rectly to Jonny’s fundrais­ing ac­count at West­pac 03 0363 0442449 25. Re­ceipts are avail­able on re­quest via Kids on Broad­way.

Lit­tle bat­tler: Five-year-old Jonny Cooper Loomans has spent most of this year at Star­ship Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

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