Park­ing scarce along town’s main street

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY

Tourism is shuf­fling more vis­i­tors into Mata­mata but it’s also prompted com­pe­ti­tion for car park­ing be­tween tourists, shop­pers, busi­ness own­ers and work­ers.

Com­mu­nity lead­ers aware of the prob­lem say, how­ever, that driv­ers need to change their habits and learn to park out­side of town where it’s just a few hun­dreds me­tres to the cen­tre.

Steve Wright from Em­pire An­tiques on Broad­way, be­lieved there needed to be more park­ing op­tions for those work­ing in Mata­mata’s CBD.

‘‘Vis­i­tors come in to town, get what they want and then leave. But you look at the side streets and they’re full with work­ers’ cars, they need some­where to park out­side [of the CBD].’’

Park­ing out­side the post of­fice was a prob­lem too.

‘‘Peo­ple vis­it­ing, they need to have room to park out­side where they want to go.’’

Wright sug­gested timed park­ing in the busiest parts of town but said he did not think park­ing me­ters or park­ing war­dens were the an­swer.

Also on Broad­way, Work­mans Cafe and Bar man­ager Das Harpreet Singh said lunch time and evenings were the worst time to find a park out­side his shop.

‘‘At lunch, most of the car parks are gone. Most peo­ple look­ing for some­where to have lunch want to park next to [the shop].

‘‘There are lots of parks fur­ther down the road but peo­ple don’t seem to want to walk the 100 or 200 me­tres back.’’

Broad­way’s Mata­mata SPCA op shop man­ager Lee Wood agreed lunch time was a prob­lem when peo­ple came into town look­ing for some­where to eat.

Out­side the shop is a park for dis­abled peo­ple and next to the build­ing is a drive­way lead­ing to the rear. Both the dis­abled park­ing spot and the drive­way en­trance were of­ten used by driv­ers seek­ing a tem­po­rary park to de­liver goods or have lunch at nearby eater­ies.

Wood hoped maybe the coun­cil could look at more park­ing op­tions for the town’s busy cen­tre.

Mata­mata Pub­lic Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion man­ager Sue Whit­ing said there was plenty of park­ing away from the town cen­tre, on Arawa and Tainui streets.

‘‘But some peo­ple chose to park close to the town cen­tre in­stead.’’

Whit­ing said park­ing, whether it be for vis­i­tors of those work­ing in town, was a sub­ject the as­so­ci­a­tion had dis­cussed many times.

‘‘We are a close-knit de­signed town and I can’t see how we can fix that, maybe it is some­thing we have to ac­cept.’’

Mata­mata ward coun­cil­lor Brian Hunter said the cen­tre of town had be­come much busier.

‘‘We moved here about 40 years ago and on a Sun­day you could go into town and no one would be there. Now, on a Sun­day it’s busy, just like any other day of the week.’’

Hunter agreed with Whit­ing, that there was plenty of park­ing and maybe it was a case of ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple where the spa­ces were.

‘‘We’re lucky be­cause we’ve got so many vis­i­tors com­ing into town and that’s a plus. But it also cre­ates a park­ing prob­lem.

‘‘Like ev­ery­where else in New Zealand, peo­ple seem to want to park out­side the shop where they want to go, and if only they could park a few streets away, it would re­lieve pres­sure.’’

Mata­mata SPCA op shop man­ager Lee Wood says com­pe­ti­tion for park­ing prompts some mo­torists to use the dis­abled car park out­side the shop.

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