Park­ing time re­stric­tions go­ing for good

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JA­NINE RANKIN

Palmer­ston North’s trial of pay-and-stay-all-day car park­ing is likely to be­come per­ma­nent.

Time lim­its on me­tered park­ing spa­ces were com­pletely re­moved in July 2016 af­ter an ear­lier ex­per­i­ment ex­tend­ing P120 re­stric­tions to al­low park­ing for three hours, en­joyed a pos­i­tive re­sponse from mo­torists.

At the same time, the coun­cil de­cided to make the first hour of park­ing at the off-street park in King St free of charge.

By in­tro­duc­ing more con­ve­nient and flex­i­ble park­ing rules, the coun­cil’s in­ten­tion was to en­cour­age peo­ple to stay longer in town.

Se­nior trans­porta­tion en­gi­neer Glenn Con­nelly said dur­ing the trial the amount of money peo­ple put in the me­ters had in­creased while fewer peo­ple had ended up with park­ing tick­ets.

The av­er­age length of stay had in­creased, but only slightly, and there was still a good turnover of spa­ces.

‘‘Avail­abil­ity of all-day park­ing is con­ve­nient and in­tu­itive from a user’s per­spec­tive,’’ he said.

Con­nelly said re­tail spend­ing in Palmer­ston North had grown 2.4 per cent dur­ing the trial.

How­ever, there was no way of know­ing whether the changed park­ing regime had in­flu­enced that.

Peo­ple had stayed in parks for longer, but the av­er­age length of stay had only in­creased by 10 per cent gen­er­ally, and 15 per cent along Broad­way.

Short-stay park­ing had

‘‘Avail­abil­ity of all­day park­ing is con­ve­nient and in­tu­itive from a user's per­spec­tive’’

Glenn Con­nelly, PNCC

de­clined.

Park­ing rev­enue from the me­ters was up 6 per cent, from $447,000 in the three months to Septem­ber 2015, and $505,000 in the quar­ter end­ing in June 2017.

Money from fines had dropped by about 25 per cent.

It re­duced from $415,000 in the three months to Septem­ber 2015, to $295,000 in the quar­ter end­ing in June 2017.

Con­nelly said that could be ex­plained in part by a drop in the num­ber of tick­ets is­sued since time lim­its were no longer there to be en­forced.

‘‘This is a pos­i­tive out­come as it sug­gests an in­creased level of com­pli­ance.’’

At its meet­ing on Septem­ber 4, the city coun­cil’s plan­ning and strat­egy com­mit­tee is ex­pected to rec­om­mend that the new park­ing regime con­tin­ues.

That will include the one hour free in the King St car park

PHOTO: WARWICK SMITH/STUFF

All day park­ing around and near The Square in Palmer­ston North.

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