Drivers could transfer parking tickets

KATIE CHAPMAN
Last updated 08:20 14/03/2012
parking
Wellington City Council is considering changing how drivers pay for parking in the city.
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Wellington drivers would be able to transfer parking tickets across town under a proposal that could also see some areas have parking fees as low as $1.

However, a plan to introduce a "premium parking fee" of $6 an hour has been shot down by councillors worried it would scare people away from the CBD.

Wellington city councillors agreed yesterday to consult the public on a proposal to introduce a varied fee structure as part of its long-term plan.

The proposal replaces a suggested 50-cent parking increase, which would have taken parking in the CBD to $4.50 an hour, after councillors voted against that idea yesterday.

Instead, they agreed to ask the public what they thought of a zoned fee structure that would include premium fees for high-use areas, reduced fees for areas of low use, and specially targeted daytime and evening fees. While detailed work of which areas would have what charges has not been done, fees would range from $1 to $4.

Suggested zones are:

  • Zone 1: Lambton, premium parking charges
  • Zone 2: Te Aro, daytime and evening charges
  • Zone 3: Fringe CBD, low fee to encourage park and ride/cycle/walk
  • Zone 4: All other areas to retain existing fees.

The proposed changes would also allow people to take parking tickets with them and use them in another area of town if there was time left over, provided they move to a zone with the same or a a lesser fee.

At present, moving a car across town means buying a new parking ticket regardless of leftover time.

Some councillors welcomed the idea to consider a more flexible approach to parking fees. Councillor Ngaire Best described existing parking structures as a "blunt instrument".

"Parking responds very heavily to supply and demand and, at the moment, we're not doing very well at matching either."

Looking at varied fees would show the public the council was looking at smarter ways of doing things, as well as providing flexibility for drivers, she said. "Being able to transfer tickets will be a very good thing."

However, deputy mayor Ian McKinnon said a confusing structure would be another blow to retailers who were already struggling, with the public likely to stay away from premium parking areas because of the perception it was more expensive.

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Justin Lester said the system would be too complicated and flew in the face of the "keep it simple" mentality.

The councillors voted unanimously against a suggested maximum fee of $6, saying it was too high and would be negatively received, instead adopting a $4 maximum.

The long-term plan debate continues today. After a full council signoff, the plan will be released for public consultation next month.

Parking in some Wellington streets would cost only $1 an hour in a proposal for zoned parks in the city.

This morning, Wellingotn City councillors agreed to ask the public what they thought of a zoned fee structure for parking charges that would include premium fees for high use areas, reduced fees for areas of low use, and specially targeted daytime and evening fees.

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