New Plymouth council cuts number of free car parking spaces


Drivers taking advantage of a small number of free on-street car parks in New Plymouth city will have to begin leaving their vehicles further away or start paying under changes approved by the district council.


A handful of long-term parking spaces are being taken away and changes are being made to loading zones to stop the general public using them for short stops following concerns from businesses.


The changes, approved by the New Plymouth council's Performance Committee on Wednesday, should provide better access to the Puke Ariki library and make life easier for delivery vehicles.


Time restrictions have been added in several areas, including Coronation Ave, Mangorei Rd and the two-minute parking zones outside Fitzroy School. 


Parking bans will come into play on Molesworth St, near the Liardet St intersection for a pedestrian crossing, at the Molesworth/Eliot St intersection for better visibility, on Cutfield Rd near Jones and Sands Joinery to protect access to properties, and on Swans Rd, near the AA Vehicle Testing Station in Bell Block.


Several loading zones will also have "Goods Vehicles Only" signs added to stop the general public using them for five-minute parking, and the loading zone in the shared space outside Puke Ariki will be changed to 24 hours to prevent longer-term parking.


"I'm hopeful that this will result in those vehicles not being parked there and the area returned to the amenity it used to be - a shared space with parking for people who might want to use the library but are not very mobile," councillor Harry Duynhoven said.


"I've also seen people driving around there looking for a park for that purpose and there was nowhere. I think this should be reserved for those who genuinely need it, not those who park to have a pint next door."


Councillor Shaun Biesiek also supported the new 'goods vehicles only' signage.


"I've been contacted by a couple of courier drivers who have been ticketed because they couldn't park in the loading zones.


"The areas that do have the 120 signs, they've been effective and working well."


But he also asked where does adding time restrictions stop.


"That's the million-dollar question."


It was usually a period of two to six weeks until the signage was put in place, infrastructure manager David Langford said.