A rolling two-year trial of free and paid parking arrangements in Rotorua's inner city is nearing an end, with minor changes being recommended for a final inner city parking regime.

However before Rotorua Lakes Council acts on any of the recommendations made by the Inner City Focus Group's Block Champions, the recommendations will go out for a four-week period of public consultation to gauge community views.

The recommendations follow a recent Block Champions' workshop to review current and past parking arrangements, analyse parking space occupancy data from parking sensors, and formulate proposals for the public to consider.

The Block Champions are recommending that existing P90 and P60 free parking spaces along the length of Tutanekai Street all become P60 free parking, as would reduced sections of Arawa, Haupapa, Pukuatua, Hinemoa and Eruera streets adjoining Tutanekai Street.

The remaining parts of Arawa, Haupapa, Pukuatua, Hinemoa and Eruera streets (between Ranolf Street in the west and Fenton Street in the east) would see vehicles paying $1 an hour, but being able to park up to three hours.

Pukuatua Street Carpark Building would have no time limits, and parking would also cost $1 per hour, or a maximum of $4 per day for casual parkers and $2 per day for concession holders. Parking in other parts of the inner city would remain unchanged from existing arrangements.

The city's parking trial began prior to Christmas 2013 when two-hour free parking was first introduced. Adjustments were made a year later when a mix of P90 and P60 free parking was trialled, along with other paid and limited-time parking arrangements.

Block Champion and inner city retailer Ron Finn said inner city businesses had had the chance to observe different arrangements in place over time, and to talk to other retailers and their customers about what had worked for them.

"We've also had a good look at parking sensor data for the central part of the inner city and it shows the vast majority of vehicles stop for less than 60 minutes. So it's seems pretty logical to now set 60 minutes as the maximum period for free parking in those locations. That will ensure a good turnover of cars in parking spaces in our busiest part of the inner city.

"However we also know some people want the option of parking for longer periods so they can go to the likes of movies, hairdressers and restaurants, hence our recommendation to allow parking for up to three hours just a short walk from Tutanekai Street," he said.

"For people wanting to park even longer than three hours we're asking the council to cut parking rates at the Pukuatua Street Carpark Building. We think just $2 a day for concession holders and $4 a day for casual parking will be pretty attractive, especially to people working in the city, rather than tying up spaces that we want left for our customers.

The council-owned carpark building has approximately 250 parking spaces and the the wider inner city offers more than 3500 public parking spaces, with a further 1600 at Rotorua Central.

Councillor Charles Sturt said he was delighted with the Block Champions' ideas.

"I actually think they'll get a lot of support for this as it's a sensible solution. I look forward to it going ahead."

From Monday people can view an inner city map showing the proposed parking changes, and give their views, at the council's Inner City Ideas Store in Hinemoa Street near City Focus (Weekdays 10am-3pm and Saturdays 11am-2pm). The inner city parking map can also be viewed and comments made online at the council website - rotorualakescouncil.nz

The consultation period ends on Friday 2 October. Community feedback will then be compiled and a report will go to the council's Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee for consideration, with a decision on final parking arrangements expected to be made by the full council in time for implementation before Christmas.

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