Parking feedback heeded

A comprehensive survey of residents has shown that people prefer to pay for parking as they use it, and the call has been heeded by Hastings District Council.

Councillors voted yesterday to return to paid parking using meters from July 1, given that almost 70 per cent of the 3000 survey respondents preferred the parking system to be ‘user pays’.

At the same time, Park Mate would be introduced for on-street car parking for those who preferred not to use coins. Council introduced the app for its off-street car parks earlier this year. The system, widely used around New Zealand, allows people to pay for parking using an application on their smart phone.

Council would also continue to investigate alternative payment and management options, including eftpos capability and in-ground parking sensors.

In coming to its decision Council considered the results of the consultation, retail spending information it had commissioned, and the availability and cost of other options.

Council’s planning and regulatory committee chairman George Lyons said the issue had been much-debated and the real issue was convenience of payment.

“It is very clear that the majority of people do not want to pay for inner city parking through rates. It’s also clear that people want a different way to pay.”

He said staff had made a commitment to providing an updated business case on alternative technologies for councillors to consider later this year.