Barber a bit snippy about parking wardens

WARNING SIGNS: Barber Rob Parker is unhappy at how the new parking monitoring system is penalising  his customers
WARNING SIGNS: Barber Rob Parker is unhappy at how the new parking monitoring system is penalising his customers

A Strandon barber has put up posters warning people parking in the area that a parking warden is never very far away.

Rob Parker, of The Barber Shop in Strandon, said there had not been a problem with parking outside the small group of shops in Devon St East until the council installed monitors and began to strictly enforce the 30-minute time limit.

"In the 16 years I've been here I've seen one parking warden and now I see five a day."

He said a number of his customers had found parking tickets on their windscreens after getting their mop chopped.

"I had a guy come in the other day, he walked in at exactly 9 in the morning because the news was starting and at 9:30 they were out there writing him a ticket."

Mr Parker said very few people abused the time limit at the shopping centre which also includes an Indian restaurant, a bakery, a dairy and and a fish and chip shop.

"I've started telling people if they're going to take more than 30 minutes they can go and pull out of the park and then drive back into it again a few seconds later so it resets the system."

On the windows of his barber shop and the bakery next door are his big yellow posters which warn the car parks are monitored closely as a council revenue gathering exercise.

New Plymouth District Council manager customer and regulatory services Simon Pickford said he was aware there were some issues with unmetered parks with time limits in Strandon, Fitzroy and Westown.

"We will be reviewing some of the time limits."

The new parking system had helped identify some places where the parking limits were not appropriate considering the nature of the nearby businesses, he said. He said it was unlikely Mr Parker was seeing five wardens a day as the council only employs four.

"Some retailers seem to think we have a parking officer lurking behind each machine, but that's not the case."

The new parking system, including the new ticket machines, had seen revenue from parking infringements decrease.

"We are seeing less infringements, but revenue from the machines is going up."

He said at the metered spaces there was a grace period which began as soon as a car parked to allow the driver ample time to find money and pay at a machine and another at the end of the time paid for. "We're not 100 per cent efficient."

Other improvements, including adding the ability for people to pay for parking using credit cards or mobile phones, are expected to happen early next year.

Taranaki Daily News