Firms' car parks 'being abused'

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 08:54 17/07/2014
Aaron Branks
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
SPELLING IT OUT: Customer only parking is usually clearly marked as such.

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Blenheim businesses with private parking are sick of non-customers parking in their free car parks.

The Warehouse assistant store manager Warren Peter said people who used their parking lot without shopping at the store were at risk of being towed. The Warehouse, on the corner of Kinross and Redwood streets, leased the car park off Gibbons Construction.

People regularly parked in the parking lot for hours while they shopped in town, Peter said. It was particularly noticeable around Christmas time.

Staff kept tabs on vehicles belonging to non-customers and recorded the registration number. If the person continued to park there, they got a letter asking them to stop, Peter said.

More drastic measures such as clamping or towing could be used if the problem escalated.

The biggest problem the store had was with people parking in the disability spots when they weren't disabled or didn't have a display card, he said.

Rebel Sport and Briscoes in Main St also had a private car park which was sometimes used by non-customers and was full before the shops opened.

Signs were displayed warning people that the spots were reserved for the two shops, and non-customers who parked there risked being towed.

Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke said it took only a few cars to be towed for people to get the message.

There hadn't been a huge problem with non-customers using the parks, but it did happen from "time to time", he said.

The company paid good money for the parking spaces and people who parked there and went elsewhere for a couple of hours were abusing that.

Briscoe Group would get a contract with a tow company who would monitor the parking if it became a huge problem, he said.

Parking has been a hot topic in Marlborough after the district council agreed to review its parking strategy.

It plans to have a new strategy in place by December.

A council parking document presented to the community and finance committee on Tuesday stated that many of the free car parks around town were council-owned and leased to businesses.

Marlborough District Council support services manager Dean Heiford said the council was responsible for enforcing parking in those areas, which were open to customers as well as the public.

"They're public car parks, which are linked to those businesses, but anyone's well within their rights to use them."

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- The Marlborough Express

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