Workers angry at all-day parking charge increase on Auckland's North Shore
Employees are angry as the cost of all-day parking in the busiest metropolitan centre on Auckland's North Shore has almost doubled.
Auckland Transport (AT) has increased the the price of on-street parking within the Takapuna business district to $1 per hour for the first two hours, and then $2 every subsequent hour.
Previously, some sections of on-street parking in Takapuna were $1 per hour all day, and a section of free parking near Takapuna Beach Reserve will now be tolled.
Jason Bolstad works as an IT developer at Takapuna business Winscribe and says the 35 employees there used to be able to park outside work for just $10 per day.
"All the workers aren't going to have anywhere to park after this because on-street's going to cost you $18 all day," says Bolstad.
"We have some people who park in the paid street parking just so they can be close - they are working mothers and they often come in late or leave early.
"They aren't going to just park further away, they will just walk outside every two hours and move their cars."
All on-street paid parks in Takapuna will now have no time limit - with the other all-day option an expensive Wilson's car park on Killarney St frequently underused.
The AT website says Takapuna on-street paid parking changes will help local business by allowing more people to park all day in all on-street parks.
"We believe these changes will benefit customers and business in Takapuna. By removing the restricted paid parking system, in favour of an unrestricted time but demand-based paid parking system, customers now have the option of parking for as long as they choose."
A quick survey of Takapuna employees said they were not in favour of the long-term street parking changes.
"I don't think it is reasonable. I see why they've done it, because they can do it, because there's a huge demand for it, but I don't agree with it," Takapuna employee Steve Lloyd said.
"Not good, it's already pretty expensive. For that reason I park just out of the paid area, so I just walk into Takapuna," local employee Malinda Yanko said.
However, casual Takapuna visitors felt the on-street parking changes were reasonable.
"I don't come here often enough for it to be a problem, I think I just paid $2 for the parking I just paid for lunch, it's not really a big issue," Browns Bay resident Shannon Walker said.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board members George Wood and Jan O'Connor both believe the parking reform by AT has been rushed.
"People who have deep pockets will be able to park there all day and it will be detrimental to shoppers," Wood said.
"This is going to cause more mayhem than originally, and quite frankly we're wondering what their overall objective is."
However, as part as the changes to on-street parking in Takapuna, AT has introduced a 10-minute "grace period" in which people can park for free for short pick-ups and drop offs.
AT received 89 feedback responses to their proposed Takapuna parking changes - 54 of which raised concerns, and 35 in favour or neutral.