$1 Minimum Parking Charge

2 October 2012

Parking changes designed to ease pressure on parking spaces in central Wellington, and make things easier for motorists making several quick stops, will be introduced from Monday 15 October.

You'll be able to use unexpired parking time elsewhere in same or lower fee zones

You'll be able to use unexpired parking time elsewhere in same or lower fee zones

Drivers will be able to use unexpired 'pay and display' parking time in various parts of the central city provided the vehicle is parked in zones with the same or a lower parking fee.

Since pay and display was introduced, motorists have had to display a parking coupon from a pay-and-display machine in the street in which the vehicle is parked.

Councillor Andy Foster, the Council's Transport Portfolio Leader, says some motorists - especially those making a number of stops around town in a short period - have found the need to keep getting new coupons, every time they stop, "somewhat time-consuming and frustrating".

"The new system aims to reduce that sort of hassle," he says.

From 15 October, the minimum amount you'll pay for parking in the CBD will be $1. The $1 minimum will help counter the habits of a considerable number of taxi drivers, especially, who park in CBD parking spaces and 'feed' meters - at 10 cents a time - thus denying other motorists the opportunity to park.

The City Council is presently working on a change of bylaws that will make it illegal for taxi drivers to use general pay-and-display parking spaces close to existing taxi stands in a number of streets where taxis monopolise much of the parking.

Cr Foster says most motorists usually insert at least $1 when they use pay-and-display machines - so the minimum fee will not adversely affect most.

The 15 October changes follow on from the Council's Long-term Plan deliberations earlier this year.

Cr Foster says the Council agreed that an overall increase in maximum hourly parking fees was not warranted - especially given the tough economic climate.

"Lots of submitters, including retailers, told us that we should not raise fees above $4 an hour.

"However we did agree that a number of changes can be made to ease pressure on parking in the CBD and make things cheaper for motorists prepared to get out and walk a bit."

On-street weekend parking in the city would also remain free.

Other parking changes being investigated are where parking fees could be reduced in areas where occupancy of car parks is relatively low, including parts of Te Aro, Kent and Cambridge Terrace and the Hutt Road. There's also the possibility of low evening parking fees in the busy entertainment areas around Courtenay Place.

"If we can give more motorists more of an incentive to park in areas where there's a bit less demand, then overall it'll mean more people get a chance to park in the city," Cr Foster says.

These proposals will be brought to Councillors to consider in the next few months. If approved, the new zones and fees could be introduced early next year.