New parking technology is coming to Hastings with the Hastings District Council decision to replace the city’s single-bay lollipop parking meters with new "pay by plate" parking machines.
The change comes about due to the age of the existing parking meters, which were installed in 1996/97. These are well past their life expectancy and beginning to fail, and their mechanical inserts are no longer being produced.
After examining a number of options it was recommended to go with pay by plate terminals, which are efficient and less expensive to operate than single-bay meters, and also offer multiple payment options - coin, paywave and credit card.
This will see 508 single head meters and nine pay-and-display machines replaced with about 74 pay by plate machines.
With these machines, users put their vehicle registration number into the machine, and the parking rates would be unchanged from current levels.
The new machines will service about 10 car parking spaces compared to the single-bay lollipop meters and will reduce street clutter, thus enhancing the street appeal of the city centre.
There is also flexibility in the system to make parking free of charge for city events or days of significance should that be desired.
The Hastings City Business Association was included in earlier discussions about the future of the parking meters, and it supports the initiative.
Hastings councillor and Business Association board advisor Wendy Schollum said both organisations wanted to support the development and vitality of the Hastings city centre.
"Providing on and off-street parking that will enhance the area for both our retailers and shoppers will assist with this, and the ability to have free parking for certain occasions was welcomed by the Business Association.
"This new technology will also enable us to gather accurate data about parking patterns so we can ensure we have carparks in the right places and have the ability to expand in the future."
The new meters will cost $540,000 to be sourced from the parking meter replacement reserve fund, and the work will go out to tender shortly.