Reinstate bike parks, urge Hastings riders

By Lawrence Gullery

Motorcyclists looking for somewhere safe to dismount in Hastings have lodged a petition asking for free parking in the city's CBD.

Hawke's Bay Classic Motorcycle Club member Eric Murfitt said there used to be six single parks for motorbikes in town but he believed they were "sealed over" when the Hastings District Council put in its new iWay cycle lanes.

"So what we're asking for is a highly visible area for motorcyclists to safely park their bikes. Other towns like Palmerston North, Auckland and Wellington have reserved spots for motorbikes. Even Napier has 14 reserved spaces."

Mr Murfitt handed in a petition to the council this month, with 104 signatories on it, asking for the matter to be considered and he's been asked to address councillors at a meeting on November 8.

"We understand there may be some places that could be deemed as motorcycle parks but we don't want them to be behind buildings where they're out of sight and not safe."

The petition suggested parking might be available in Market St South, opposite New Zealand Post mailbox collection centre, or in Russell St South, next to the I-SITE information centre.

Mr Murfitt had been asked by people why motorcyclists should have free parking. "We're not asking for anything extra, just what used to be there and what other towns already have."

Meanwhile, official figures have revealed the council collected $516,952 of parking meter revenue during the 2011/12 year, compared to $317,064 a decade ago.

Money gathered from parking fines or infringement notices for the 2011/12 year totalled $187,737, an increase on $135,735 collected 10 years ago.

There had been no court action against people failing to pay parking fines, however, the reasons put forward challenging tickets continued to be colourful.

Excuses to the council ranged from: forgot to display a mobility card; put money in the meter but the meter was not operating correctly; task or repairs people attended took longer than expected.

People also said they had parked on the footpath because "the road is narrow and I was trying to be considerate of other motorists".

Some excuses said the pay and display ticket purchased for parking "blew on to the floor of the vehicle when I was shutting the door" while others tried to claim "I didn't realise that I had to pay for parking on Saturday".

- Hawkes Bay Today

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