Clarification on Motorcycle Parking

14 January 2011

Wellington City Council has no intention of removing existing free motorcycle parking from the streets in the Wellington CBD, contrary to a media report today.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says a review of motorcycle parking policy is in the early stages. The Council is still talking to the motorcycle community and no decisions have been made.

She says the Council's long-term goal is to more effectively manage public space in the CBD.

"We will continue to talk with motorcyclists so that they help us with the final recommendation that goes to the Council for consideration.

"But we certainly do not intend removing on-street parking for motorcycles and scooters. That would make no sense ? especially in light of the huge increase in motorcycles now being ridden into, and around, the city.

Motorcyclists have long enjoyed free all-day parking in the CBD, while drivers of cars have to pay. An estimated 1100 motorbikes come into the central city each day - a 178% increase over the last 10 years - and there is currently free space for 500 to park on the streets.

The current economic climate meant it was not sustainable to continue to increase the amount of free spaces for motorcycles at the expense of fee-paying car parking. Every pay-and-display car park in the CBD earns about $6000 in revenue a year. Removing car parks to put in more free motorcycle spaces would adversely affect Council revenue.

There also is more demand from motorcyclists for short-term parking. The majority of motorcyclists are parking all day, leaving no opportunity for other motorcyclists to park short-term.

"This rapid increase in demand has thrown up a significant challenge for us - how to balance the available space in an equitable way," says the Mayor.

"Because the Council controls only 10 per cent of available parking space in the city we are talking to the operators of privately-owned parking buildings about offering more off-street parking for motorcyclists."

The Council's Walking, Cycling, Motorcycling and Safety Portfolio Leader, Councillor Bryan Pepperell, says the issue is about space, increased demand, fairness and the interests of ratepayers.

"We have started looking at a number of options to address this challenge," says Cr Pepperell.

Cr Pepperell will be leading a roundtable discussion in February.