Parking petition handed over to council

PARKED: John Hornblow, Ralph Bare and Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke speak to councillors.
PARKED: John Hornblow, Ralph Bare and Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke speak to councillors.

A petition signed by more than 2000 people opposed to Palmerston North's controversial parking system was handed over to city councillors today.

About 20 supporters were in the public gallery at the Finance and Performance committee meeting when a joint submission was made by former deputy mayor John Hornblow, and business owners Ralph Bare and Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke.

Mr Bare said the issue wasn't about people trying to get off paying for parking, it was about fairness.

''Alas, we have failed. Judging by the aggrieved visitors, we have all witnessed at our places of business, our homes, or aimlessly wandering our city streets in fits of rage and bewilderment, we have certainly failed.

''The FrogParking system has been criticised for being too hard to operate, while the enforcement of the $40 fine has been seen as too harsh.

Mr Hornblow said: ''The system is unjust, People are fined for unintended and understandable errors. There are examples of people who have been fined while in the process of acquiring cash to feed the meter, and whose appeals have not been upheld.''

Councillor Billy Meehan asked what changes would help solve some of the problems.

All three submitters suggested a starting point would be to make the first hour of parking free, then charge from there.

''People just want to have a choice,'' Mrs Bundy-Cooke said.

Mr Hornblow handed over the petition to committee chairman Ross Linklater.

The matter was to be discussed by councillors and a parking review panel is to be set up to review parking issues in the city.

Manawatu Standard