Parking budget gains from retailer, meters

But use of parking building still not at capacity

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 12:03 05/10/2012
sophia council parking building
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
TRAFFIC JAM: A ticket dispenser caused a traffic hold-up at the Timaru District Council's Sophia St car parking building (Farmers carpark).

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Paying for parking meters on Saturday morning and the arrival of the Glassons clothing store have both had a noticeable impact on the Timaru District Council's parking budget.

What is not looking so positive is the usage of the council's Farmers parking building in Sophia St.

While the figures were only available for the first month of the 2012/13 financial year, usage of the council's Central Mall car park had shown a marked increase since the Glassons store opened in the mall in March last year.

Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said while the budgeted income from the car park was $530 a week, it had been averaging $700 since the clothing store opened. The mall management had confirmed the foot traffic in the building had increased markedly with the arrival of the new tenant.

The introduction of paying for metered parking on Saturday mornings has also had a favourable impact on the parking budget, Mr Dixon said.

The new charge had been widely accepted by motorists with the added advantage being shoppers were finding it easier to get a park as shop workers were no longer parking on metered spaces for their entire Saturday shift.

While it was uncertain how much extra the Saturday meter fees would put in to the council coffers, $15,000 has been included in this year's budget as part of the $528,000 the council expects to collect in parking fees.

While the total parking income had been above budget for July, usage of the council's multi level parking building was still only at 60 percent. In spite of that, the overall parking income was running above budget.

Mr Dixon was confident revenue from the parking building would increase, in part, because free parking time had been reduced from 30 to 15 minutes.

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- The Timaru Herald

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