Parking charges up for review
Parking rules in Blenheim and Picton are up for review next month, and the cost of parking in busy shopping areas was likely to be included in discussions, the councillor overseeing the review says.
Laressa Shenfield said a discussion document containing options for the Marlborough District Council to consider would go to councillors next month.
She hoped the review would involve retailers in the Blenheim and Picton business districts to get their views. Previously, they had favoured metered parking to ensure turnover of the spaces for customers.
"Parking is one of those necessary evils. We have a bylaw that we need to uphold. I certainly wouldn't want to see people parking outside shops in the Wild West where retailers didn't have space for their customers to shop."
It was unlikely that Marlborough would follow Richmond's lead and provide free parking in key shopping areas, she said.
Parking services were largely self-funding, so the user had to pay. "At the end of the day, someone has to pay for these services . . . 80 cents an hour is probably one of the lower parking charges in the country."
However, she was keen to see a move towards "paying as you go" so that people paid for the time they used. Many people found they only had gold coins on them when they needed only a short time in the car park.
That was where the Alfred St car park building was good, Shenfield said, as it was paid as people left.
A concern was the growing number of people parking in metered parks without putting money in, Shenfield said.
A report to the council earlier this year said surveys of Market St in Blenheim showed on average 29 per cent of the meters were not activated compared to 21.1 per cent for the same time a year earlier.
There was also a decline in the amount of occupied kerbside car parks, which the report said was "most likely indicative of the ongoing economic climate".
The parking review would be a good forum for the council to look again at its options, Shenfield said.
The Marlborough Express