Parking fees to remain unchanged

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 07:29 10/04/2014

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Parking fees will remain unchanged at Palmerston North Hospital after a review of the system found traffic is being managed effectively and a $500,000 profit is expected.

A report to the MidCentral District Health Board hospital advisory committee this week told members that the car parking scheme, managed by Wilson Parking, had ticked the boxes in the review.

The health board introduced paid parking in February 2011.

The scheme experienced several vandalism issues weeks after being introduced, including attempts to remove barrier arms, and pay machines being sprayed with graphite so they were unable to read banknotes.

Within months complaints were laid with the city council by nearby residents who were swamped by people leaving their cars in surrounding streets to avoid paying for parking.

Commercial support services group manager Jeff Small, who wrote the report, said queries and complaints about paid car parking dropped from 94 in the first year to 14 last year.

In the past 12 months there were nine calls related to assistance with operating the pay machines, and five questioning why they should pay or disagreements with the operators. "We believe that users have become familiar with using the system, so very few queries or complaints have come in since the original implementation of the scheme," he said.

Small said the board felt the scheme effectively controlled and managed traffic and parking at Palmerston North Hospital while providing revenue.

"Fees are reviewed annually as part of the budgeting process and no changes have been made, or are proposed at this time," he said. "The revenue stream generated by paid car parking will assist the DHB to maintain financial sustainability in the current tight financial environment."

Small said the scheme was also contributing toward the upkeep of roads, car parks, and funding for establishing future parks, road marking and signage when needed.

The scheme is budgeted to raise $573,000 next year.

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- Manawatu Standard

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