Driver caught out by new parking rules

Ticketed on a Saturday morning

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 11/07/2012
Ian Willis
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
NO IDEA: Ian Willis, with grandchildren Ian and Rose, received a parking ticket on Saturday morning but said he had not known he now had to pay on Saturdays.

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Timaru man Ian Willis received his first parking ticket in 30 years of driving on Saturday but says he had no idea he was meant to pay.

Mr Willis said he was caught out by the introduction this month of metered parking in central Timaru from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Before July, on-street parking meters and car parks in the Timaru CBD were not charged for at the weekend, with the exception of a charge applied at the council-owned Farmers car park on Saturday mornings.

But Timaru District Council decided to add Saturday mornings to metered parking to encourage parking turnover. The P30 and P60 time limits in Stafford St will remain.

Mr Willis was in town with his grandchildren on Saturday morning when he returned to his vehicle to find an infringement notice.

"As far as I remember I don't think I've ever had a parking ticket at any other time. It appears to me there wasn't enough publicity."

After discovering the ticket he went home and searched for any notification of the change and could only find a Timaru Herald article in May.

He also found a notice in Saturday's Herald.

"Sure enough there's a little snippet in the council page."

Despite his concerns he paid the fine yesterday.

"I think it's a bit rough because there wasn't much advertising around this change in policy."

He said he was sure others must have been caught out.

"I can't have been the only one. It was a cold Saturday morning. I can't have been the only person that didn't realise."

He had learnt his lesson, he said.

Council district services manager Ashley Harper said the change was publicised throughout June in leaflets placed on windscreens and given to business operators in the Timaru CBD.

It was also advertised in the Herald on June 16 and again on July 7.

Each parking meter also has a new notice stating that payment was required on Saturdays between 9am and 1pm. There were 27 tickets issued on Saturday with 21 relating to meters and six relating to P30 parking bays.

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- The Timaru Herald

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