Parking wardens fine residents for vehicles part-parked on footpath.

A ratepayers group has described a 2am ticketing blitz of cars parked partly on the footpath of a narrow street as "overzealous revenue gathering".

The Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance is backing furious residents of the two Orakei streets after the Weekend Herald revealed that Auckland Council parking wardens fined 27 residents in the early morning sting on cars with two wheels on the kerb.

Residents on Orakei's Apihai and Tautari streets woke on Thursday to find $40 fines on their windscreens.

"The trouble with Auckland Council is its choice to apply blanket rules rather than common sense," said Carmel Claridge, a spokesperson for the Ratepayers' Alliance.

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"Here a community have done the right thing by parking on the kerb to allow unimpeded access and reduce the hazard. Rather than let them be, the Council swans in with its 'we know best' attitude."

Cars negotiate Tautari St in Orakei, where residents were ticketed after parking vehicles partly on the road and footpath so other road users could travel safely along the street. Photo / Greg Bowker
Cars negotiate Tautari St in Orakei, where residents were ticketed after parking vehicles partly on the road and footpath so other road users could travel safely along the street. Photo / Greg Bowker

Claridge said her son lives on the affected Tautari Street and believed if residents followed the rules the space left would make it impossible for emergency service vehicles to pass.

Auckland Transport is sticking by the decision, saying the road is not considered narrow and road markings are not needed to prescribe correct parking.

Residents on the street are furious, saying that if they had parked correctly access would be obscured for emergency services vehicles, rubbish trucks and other large vehicles and likely result in damage to cars.

On a section of Tautari St measured by the Herald, where two cars were parked correctly on the road there was just over 2m of space between them for vehicles to drive through.
The footpaths on each side were slightly wider than 3m.

Tautari St resident Paige Moran said the fines were ridiculous.

"We are all quite angry about it, it's ridiculous," she said. "It's a narrow street to start with and the footpaths are extremely wide, so it forces cars to park half on the footpath.
"The people who live on this street, no one complains about it because everyone has to do it and has done it for years."

One resident who received a ticket, Lyzadie Renault, said it was safer and more courteous to park half on the footpath.

Her home has no driveway and the family's Range Rover does not fit inside their old, small garage that sits at street level.

"It's common sense, it just means that people can get through easily and the whole street does it for that exact reason - nobody is trying to break the rules or is fully blocking the sidewalk, it's being considerate for people using the road.

"When two cars are parked fully on the road, even if you have a normal-sized car, you have to go really slow, let alone for emergency vehicles or all the construction trucks and vans in this neighbourhood, plus rubbish trucks on Thursdays."

Mrs Renault said she had lived on the street for five years and it was the first time the issue had been raised.

Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer condemned the blitz as ridiculous. "These people pay huge rates and mean no malice but are being picked on because they're most likely to stump up the cash to help fill Auckland Transport's coffers.

"It's completely unfair and uncalled for. These tickets should be waived forthwith."

AT spokesman Mark Hannan said the tickets were issued when a parking officer was called to a complaint regarding vehicles parked on the footpaths.

"In total we issued 27 infringements for parking on the footpath and one for incorrect kerb parking [facing the wrong direction]," he said.

By being parked in such a way, motorists were breaking the Land Transport Road User Rules. He said the road was not considered narrow and the agency saw no need for road markings to remedy the issue.

"There is no requirement to mark the road or put up signage to indicate vehicles should not stop on footpaths."

A St John spokeswoman said the residents' concerns were justified, but there were no recorded incidents of paramedics not being able to access a patient due to a narrow road.

"St John's preference is for streets to be wide enough for comfortable ambulance access in order to get to patients as quickly and safely as possible."

Police spokesman Grant Ogilvie said it was important narrow streets were kept clear for emergency services to use.

The Automobile Association has in the past criticised AT's parking blitz, which has pulled in more than $52 million from fines in five years.

The Rules
Parking rules are dictated by the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004. They state:

No stopping or parking a vehicle on footpaths or cycle paths, unless signs or markings installed by the correct authority allow it.

Cycles, mobility device and "wheeled recreational devices" allowed if room left for others.

Fines can be contested by filling out a form or writing a letter and sending it to Auckland Transport Parking Review, Private Bag 92260, Auckland 1142.