Editorial: Problems parked with skill

By Roger Moroney

Life is full of issues and it's nice to be able to successfully park them up somewhere from time to time. In the way one parks a car, or a bus.

There have been two simmering parking issues in both Napier and Hastings in recent times.

Like for many, I suspect, both have affected me and members of the family from time to time.

There was a rather contentious proposal to apply parking fees for visitors, patients and staff at Hawke's Bay Hospital that had resulted in a petition from hundreds of staff members who argued one fee did not suit all.

The spread of wages, from low to modest through to above average and lofty was, they argued, unfair. And they had a very good point. And as I discovered a couple of years ago whilst visiting the fracture clinic as a patient, the big unknown is how long you will be in there for?

At places like hospitals, where schedules can alter and change in minutes depending on demand, putting money in the meter for an estimated hour-long stay would not work.

You would likely return after 85 minutes to find an infringement notice on the windscreen.

There was a business edge to the plan though - parking fees would have netted $2 million in revenue for the DHB over eight years. But, the human touch prevailed and rightly so.

At the same time as that was announced Napier City Council revealed its plan for solving the bus depot issue which has more than simmered, it has sort of boiled. A site on the edge of the CBD capable of tucking in five buses, and a toilet block and adequate shelter. Taxis 100m away and restaurants and food nearby. A couple of phone booths will complete the picture. In a city this compact and where options are limited, it appears to be an effective and viable plan.

Whether the bus companies decide to climb aboard financially is another matter, but it is a promising start.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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