38 days ago

Longer limits, Govt exemptions cause drop in council parking revenue

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

Parking infringements have significantly decreased thanks to longer parking in central Ashburton.

The central section of the West St car park, encompassing 83 parking spaces, was extended from 120 to 180 minutes at the end of February.

The Ashburton District Council reviewed the time-restricted parking as part of the $15m revitalisation of the CBD.

The two end sections of the car park, 142 spaces, are free for all day parking.

Council strategy and compliance group manager Jane Donaldson said parking officers have received some positive verbal feedback when out on patrol.

Before the changes the council’s data showed there was high demand for the all day parking, with 97% peak occupancy, while the central spaces had a peak occupancy of about 60 per cent.

The change has seen a significant reduction in parking infringements.

“A small number of tickets for overstaying are issued each week, approximately three to four, but on the whole, shoppers welcome the additional allowance to get back to their cars on time.

“Previously, two to three tickets a day were issued for overstaying in this area.”

Up until March 31, the council has received only $132,000 from parking in the finical year which is $157,879 off the budgeted intake for the full year of $290,777.

The variance has been put down to the removal of the old coin operated stand-alone parking meters that were removed to make way for the yet to be installed parking sensors.

The council’s financial report also states that parking infringement income was affected by the Government’s introduction of a grace period for warrants of fitness and vehicle registration.

The town’s lone pay and display unit serving the Cass St car park is generating some parking revenue.

The council has also introduced an over 80s parking permit in April that allows a permit holder to park for twice the allotted time in any over 30 minute parks.

Donaldson said the council has so far issued 42 of the permits.

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