Parking shake-up a step closer

All-day free parking is set to be taken away from parts of central Dunedin early next year, leaving commuters unimpressed but some business owners smiling.

As part of a raft of changes to parking in the city, about 150 free car parking spaces will become paid ones and some all-day parks will be restricted.

The Dunedin City Council's bylaw subcommittee voted to accept the proposals yesterday, with some minor alterations.

If councillors vote to adopt the changes at a meeting on December 11, they will come into effect early next year.

More than 75 public submissions were received on the changes, which will affect parking on State Highway 1 in North Dunedin, in Vogel St, outside Fairfield School, in Buccleugh St and in Moray Pl near Great King St.

Major changes included extending charged parking into Great King St and Cumberland St between Albany and Dundas Sts and replacing 50 existing free, P5, P30, P60 and P90 spaces in Vogel St with $1 per hour meters.

Council transport group manager Richard Saunders said staff had made some minor changes to the proposal, based on the feedback, which included adding time restrictions to the parks in Great King St and Cumberland St and removing the Saturday parking restrictions.

Time restrictions of 120 minutes had also been added to the parks in Vogel St after businesses, including Ocho Chocolate, Wine Freedom and Precinct Food, asked for them.

Precinct Food owner Steve Christensen said a huge demand for parking on the street meant it was no longer suitable for long-term parking.

People had started "gaming the system" and were parking on the street all day, meaning customers were unable to find any parks nearby, Mr Christensen said.

There was an urgent need for more P5 parks and the changes also needed to stretch down to the Police St intersection, but, overall, the parking changes were positive, he said.

Mr Saunders said the proposed changes were just the first in a series of changes to parking in the city as the council tried to better manage transport.

There was a finite amount of parking in the central city and the council acknowledged the changes would disadvantage some residents, but other options were also being considered.

Dunedin City Council transport strategy manager Nick Sargent said a ride-share scheme would be trialled in North Dunedin with the University of Otago before being implemented across the city.

The council hoped to work with large organisations and businesses to better manage the city's commuters.