Survey: Parking rules too strict

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 07:56 11/10/2013

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Some Blenheim businesses feel strict parking policies are hurting their business.

Council candidate Michael Mooney and the Blenheim Ratepayers Association surveyed 50 businesses regarding parking in the town centre, and 41 responded.

Eighty three per cent of respondents said wardens and council policies were handicapping business in the town centre.

Among the responses, Flight Centre said people could park for free when shopping at the big box retailers, but customers had to watch their clocks.

Another respondent said many people had to run out to pay a meter, which sometimes resulted in the loss of a sale.

She also commented that free parking on a Saturday would encourage shopping.

There was considerable support for this idea: 80 per cent of respondents felt parking should be free on Saturdays.

The survey also asked people if parking wardens should be able to issue fines for warrants of fitness and registrations - which parking wardens around the country do. The results were split 50/50.

David McInnes from EB Games said wardens should only be able to issue parking tickets.

C R Payne said: "Wardens should be for parking meters only, but parking does need to be policed or there would never be enough parks empty for shoppers."

Denis Jacques from Perry's Bookshop said: "If you have not got a warrant of fitness and registration you deserve to be caught."

Another person commented that warrants of fitness were a safety concern for everyone, and people should stop making excuses.

Mr Mooney said he was surprised by the passionate responses. Some people told him parking was cheap in Blenheim and the wardens were friendly and courteous; others said they had seen wardens hiding behind pillars waiting and two having a "turf war".

He has given the survey results to the Marlborough District Council.

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- The Marlborough Express

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