The pay and display parking area in the Ashburton central business district is being extended with the installation of a new pay and display parking machine in an empty area of land on Cass Street.
The Cass Street site, left vacant a couple of years ago after several buildings were demolished, has been used by the public as a free car parking space, but a change to paid parking means motorists will now need to make sure they display a valid ticket.
Moving to a pay and display system on the privately owned site is a joint partner venture between Council and Eastfield Investments Limited who own the land.
Environmental Services Manager Rick Catchpowle says parking is a complex issue and there will be some resistance to change but it is also a good way to find out if people are prepared to pay to use parking areas like this, particularly as the central business area is about to be redeveloped.
Mr Catchpowle says people will notice the new machine, to be installed at the entrance of the site, looks different to the ones operating along East Street, but the same hourly parking prices and infringement fees apply.
"The current pay and display machines operated by Council did have some initial teething problems and therefore it is an ideal opportunity to try an alternative type of machine that may be a better fit for when the current machines need replacing."
The $12,000 new machine - including installation - accepts cash, credit card and, very soon, payment by text recognising that there is demand for new ways to pay for parking.
Eastfield Investment Limited recently undertook levelling of the area and has erected fences in order to be able to control access.
The parking activity is allowed for under the District Plan and therefore there are no specific planning requirements to be met under this proposal.
Mr Catchpowle says there will be plenty of signs advising of the change to pay and display parking and the site will be fully operational from Monday (22 December 2014).
Longer hours have been provided for at the site and there is a $6 all-day (8am to 6pm) parking option available via the machine.
Additionally, parking permits for people wanting continual long term parking over a number of days on a neighbouring area can be arranged by contacting Skip-2-It Flooring Xtra.
- Council has entered into a lease agreement with Eastfield Investments Limited whereby Council leases the land to be used as a car park.
- The arrangement is a revenue sharing partnership between Council and Eastfield.
- Council is charged minimum leasing costs for the land.
- Parking revenue is shared 50/50 between Eastfield and Council.
- Under this proposal Council gets 50% and also has an interest in the 50% received by Eastfield as a shareholder.