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25/08/2016 12:00 a.m.
Ashburton District Council has approved a year trial of one hour free parking in part of the Ashburton CBD.
The trial will apply to all 83 pay and display parking spaces along East Street. The time will be monitored by smart parking technology, which will need to be installed prior to the start of the trial period. Data from these metres will help identify a way forward when the trial period ends.
Community Relations Manager Vincie Billante says Council has worked closely with the local business community to develop the trial, following concern that parking was affecting the patronage of CBD businesses.
“Earlier this year, Ashburton retailers approached Council about parking issues along East Street and presented Council with a petition. As a result, a working group was established to investigate ways of improving CBD parking, and a free parking period was proposed. It is hoped this one year trial will support local businesses and encourage increased patronage to our CBD retailers.”
Parking in Ashburton’s CBD currently costs 50 cents per hour, following a Council decision to halve the fee from $1.00 earlier this year. The cost of all-day parking in the Eastfield carpark has also been reduced from $6.00 to $2 per 10-hour day (i.e. 8am-6pm) on a trial basis.