Ashburton District Council has today decided that the one hour of free parking along East Street in the Ashburton CBD will continue as normal until a review of its parking strategy has been completed.
The results from the yearlong one hour free parking trial on East Street were presented to Council at its meeting today, however a decision on the free parking has been deferred until after the parking strategy review has finished and the Council has a clearer understanding of what it should do moving forward.
Council Environmental Monitoring Manager Rick Catchpowle says the results from the trial include how many times vehicles have parked in each parking bay, parking duration, most popular parking spots, and retail spending throughout the year.
"The purpose of this trial was to help Council determine ways forward for Ashburton, following concerns that parking had been affecting the patronage of CBD businesses. After installing smart parking technology, we were able to collect data on how the parks were used throughout the trial period.
"The report provides great insight into CBD visitor habits, however it is only one factor that Council will be considering throughout the wider review of our parking and traffic options.
"As we haven't yet completed the review, it was decided that it would be less confusing for the community if we simply kept the one hour of free parking in place for the time being."
The results from the trial show that during business hours between Monday and Friday, the average time parked was 16 minutes, while for public holidays, weekends and after hours, the average time was 19 minutes. Additionally, data collected by Market View using electronic transaction data, showed that retail spending in the district was down 1.3 per cent during the parking trial.
Council began the parking trial in September last year. The pedestal parking metres on Tancred and Burnett streets remained operational, and the parking conditions at the West Street carpark remained unchanged.