Council opts for coin parking meters
Oamaru and Ashburton have both gone the way of Pay and Display parking machines on their main street in the past year but it is unlikely they will replace coin parking meters here.
Timaru District Council (TDC) land transport manager Andrew Dixon said Stafford St will remain free parking as per council policy.
At present there are no parking meters there, but parks have time limits.
"There are no plans to change this."
He also said the council did not propose to replace existing parking meters on adjacent Timaru streets with pay and display machines.
Parking meter equipment would not be considered as part of the proposed Central Business District refresh, he said.
"We are aware of machines that accept eftpos or smart cards but the charges associated with the use of the cards out-weighs the parking fee. "Our parking charges are very reasonable with meters up to only $1.10 per hour."
He said there were challenges that went with pay and display parking including capital cost, customer acceptance and maintenance (greater complexity and cost).
When a machine fails, several car parks become non-chargeable whereas with meters it is only the one car park, he said.
On the upside customers get a parking receipt which is handy for business people claiming expenses and there is greater flexibility with the parking time period. Meters are three hours maximum whereas parking machines can be unlimited.
However, motorists can be fined $40 for not displaying a ticket whereas meter parking tickets are $12.
Mr Dixon said other councils have found resistance to pay and display machines because operation of them is a little more complex than meters.
Also sometimes people do not see the machines and they are not as quick and easy.
People have to visit the machine to pay then return to the vehicle to display the ticket.
In terms of CBD parking, what needed to be considered was good availability, location, signage, ease of use and good turnover of parking.
Flexibility was needed, catering for visitors, local shoppers, businesses and workers.
The TDC already has some pay and display meters, for instance behind the Landing Services Building.
Mr Dixon said motorists favoured parking close to shops or their destination, for instance on Stafford St.
On-street meters were very popular, with the greatest use.
The manned Farmers car park was popular as were centrally located car parks such as the Timaru Library, the Central Mall, Cains Terrace and the Landing Services Building car park.
SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD