Hamilton's free two-hour parking in the CBD is to continue, after councillors voted to continue the trial for another year.

The trial gives motorists two hours free on-street parking at metered spaces and then charges $1 for every 10 minutes thereafter, which equates to $6 an hour.

In public forum part of the council meeting last week, councillors heard from the CBD Association about the benefits that the trial has brought, including an increase in parking space occupancy and retail spending.

During late February and early March, at the request of staff, the Hamilton Central Business Association (HCBA) conducted a brief survey of its members.


The survey asked two questions related to the trial. There were 134 respondents — 93 per cent of respondents thought the two-hour free parking was a good initiative, and 91 per cent thought it should continue.

Councillor Geoff Taylor, who leads the parking taskforce, said the previous system was archaic.

"If we did go back to that system we would save bugger all money. To implement that you would have to pay $600,000 to replace the parking kiosks which are about to die," Mr Taylor said.

"You will only save $300,00 of operating expenditure, not these millions I keep hearing about."

Councillor Angela O'Leary, who was against the parking trial to begin with, changed her mind and said it was important for the trial to continue.

"We still don't have trend data because it hasn't been around long enough," Ms O'Leary said.

Councillor Mark Bunting, said the source of the income prior to this trial was from people getting penalties and tickets.

"I just wonder why people really hate our guts," Mr Bunting said.

"That money, while we see it as a cost, is not ours in the first place. We have been penalising the CBD for years and years."

Mayor Andrew King said he could not wait for this to not be a trial anymore.

"We can cut out those parking meters and sell them as antiques, and stop people coming into our city, standing confused in front of the parking metres."