Wellington parking charges raises more questions

Following the Wellington City Council's decision to introduce charges for weekend parking, the Wellington Chamber of Commerce is calling for research on how Wellingtonians use their city's parking to be released.

"The Council invested several million dollars installing electronic parking metres across the city. So far, the data collected on usage, turnover, and timing has not been released to the public," says Wellington Chamber of Commerce CE John Milford.

"The decision to reinstate weekend parking charges in Wellington has been made in the dark," Mr Milford says.

"This is a controversial issue with arguments on both sides, the Council should substantiate the position it's taking by publishing the report promised several years ago.

"What we do know is that car parking in the city is under pressure with around 1,500 off-street parks out of action following the Kaikorua earthquakes.

"It is important for local retailers and hospitality venues to have customers through the door and this is supported by people knowing they can get a decent park nearby.

"This in turn means turning-over those on-street spaces is now more important and a weekend parking rate should contribute to higher churn.

"Given the Council has now made its decision, the Chamber expects the transfer of parking costs to users to result in improved use of the targeted business rate for CBD initiatives or a reduction in the downtown targeted rate next year.

"This targeted rate was specifically introduced at the expense of Downtown City rate payers for retail and hospitality to encourage customers to come into the city on weekends.

"Discontinuing free weekend parking means Downtown City rate payers deserve to know how their rates will benefit them in the future."

Contact: John Milford

Phone:

Email: john.milford@wecc.org.nz