Tauranga City Council has voted to do away with all-day parking in the core retail area of the CBD, replacing it with a three-hour parking limit.

The changes will come into effect on March 18.

The council voted for the change in spite of polling that showed many are not happy with the limit.

Yes/no internet polls conducted over two weeks in January on Facebook and Survey Monkey came out 61 per cent against time restrictions, from 1408 responses.

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Commenters accused the council of failing to provide adequate public transport or parking for city workers.

Some councillors - including Terry Molloy, who has pushed for change - had wanted to bring the restrictions in without public consultation when the issue last came before them in December, so it is debatable how much these results will sway them as they make a final call on the issue in a meeting this afternoon.

Councillor Terry Molloy has pushed for parking changes in response to retailer concerns. Photo/George Novak
Councillor Terry Molloy has pushed for parking changes in response to retailer concerns. Photo/George Novak

The council was considering the change from all-day parking to time-limited parking to encourage higher parking turnover in the core retail area.

Downtown retailers and service providers had complained they were losing customers who struggled to find a park and that all-day parking allowed CBD workers to camp out in spaces that could be used by shoppers.

In a report on the issue, council transport staff reiterated their view that introducing a time limit was the wrong move.

They believed the council should stick to all-day parking as it is simpler and eliminates the need for car-shuffling.

The affected area includes Devonport Rd, Durham St, Elizabeth St, Grey St, Spring St and Willow St.

To make the change from all-day parking to three-hour parking, the council will need to amend its Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2012.

The status quo parking pricing - $2 an hour, 9am to 3pm - would remain.


Community views

Comments collected during the council's public consultation on the proposed parking rule change:

- "I feel like shoppers make up a slim percentage of people parking in town."

- "Needs to be longer. 4 hours so that you got time for lunch and a movie."

- "If you are paying and want to pay for all day then you should be able to."

- "The real main concern behind this is the public transport system. We can't let it be ignored any longer. The parking issue and the public transport problem go hand in hand."

- Source TCC