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Shop's car parking battle

SARAH CODDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2013
Carpark Woes

NO STOPPING: Victoria Rd shop owners Arvind and Hansa Patel oppose Auckland Transport’s plans to stop cars from parking out front of their dairy.

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A family fears its business could hit the wall if plans to install 81 metres of yellow lines and a pedestrian crossing on an intersection get the green light.

Arvind and Hansa Patel have owned the Carruth and Victoria Rd Dairy in Papatoetoe for 16 years but a proposal by Auckland Transport could see the business lose seven of its car parks.

They have been fighting a battle to stop the plans since February.

A petition started by the family against the no-stopping proposal attracted more than 300 signatures.

Mr Patel says 500 customers come through the doors each day and the plans could affect up to 80 per cent of their business.

"We've spoken to a few customers and they're not happy too because they want to park here. If there's yellow lines I'll lose them. They'll drive straight past," he says.

Daughter Unnati, 19, made a second presentation to the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board last week and spoke of the possible impact on the family's finances and the inconvenience the move would cause to customers.

She told the board the family's alternative ideas were not given any consideration.

They include placing another parking bay further down the road and reducing the length of the yellow lines to 32 metres.

The family has also offered to pay half of the costs of installing the parking bay.

An earlier presentation Unnati made to the board convinced Auckland Transport to extend its consultation deadline and the yellow line restrictions were cut back by 31 metres.

But the family says the latest proposals will still greatly affect the business.

An original letter from Auckland Transport says the changes were being made under a travel safety plan in partnership with the Papatoetoe schools cluster.

That includes Papatoetoe High, Papatoetoe Central and Papatoetoe East schools, the closest of which is 1km from the shop.

A review of the NZ Transport Agency crash database of reported crashes during the 2007-2011 period shows there were 16 crashes at the Victoria Rd intersection, one of them involving a pedestrian.

Auckland Transport's media manager Mark Hannan says they are aware businesses in the area are concerned about the possible loss of parking.

They will meet with the Patel family in the new year to discuss options.

"We will be working with them to minimise any impacts to businesses and residents, but at the same time we need to make it safer for pedestrians crossing the road," he says.

A 2012 traffic survey revealed that 16,000 vehicles use the road in each direction every day.

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- Manukau Courier

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