A Whanganui business is warning its staff will be lining up for the unemployment benefit if proposed changes to parking on St Hill St go ahead.

Businesses in two central city blocks have banded together to urge council not to reduce parking spaces in their area.

Turning angle parking into parallel parking in the St Hill St block between Ingestre St and Guyton St, and the bottom Victoria Ave block (bridge block) is proposed as part of Whanganui District Council's Proposed Parking Management Plan Parking Bylaw.

Council received 22 public submissions on the proposal.


In his submission Wanganui Bedroom Specialists manager Fenton Pettigrew said the shop's takings had dropped by 20 per cent since the squeeze came on parking when the Ministry of Social Development opened in the block.

"You will probably find our staff from a business owned and operated in Whanganui for over 25 years joining the queue at Work and Income New Zealand (Winz) applying for the unemployment benefit," he said.

Last month the Chronicle reported Mr Pettigrew was collecting a petition to highlight the parking pressure in the area.

It garnered more than 200 signatures.

"The parking system as it stands now since Winz has moved to its current location is hurting our business because of the inadequate parking spaces and increasing their length of stay would be detrimental to our business."

Peter Huijs said if parallel parking was to be created there should be a 30-minute limit and sensor parking placed outside [Wanganui Bedroom Specialists] and a 60-minute limit and sensor parking outside the ministry.

"I strongly believe that there has been a huge oversight with the allowance of the new [ministry] building not considering the amount of parking needed to service the business."

The RSA also has concerns about the proposed changes.

"The current shortage of carparking is already causing concerned for our staff, members and customers with the clients of other businesses and agencies already using our member's parking area on a regular basis," secretary manager Kyle Dalton said.

Meanwhile, the council are also considering increasing parking time limits within Victoria Ave from 60 minutes to 90 minutes and increasing parking time limits in St Hill Street [between Guyton and Ingestre Sts].

Nine bridge block retailers jointly submitted against proposals to turn angled parking into parallel parking in the bottom end of Victoria Ave.

Mark Dyhrberg from Jolt Coffee House organised the submission which argued the changes would cause a downturn in trade.

"In essence we are giving up car parks to provide more outside seating which even in the best weather months could only be used 50 per cent of the time while making it difficult for customers to park in the block with ease during those days when the weather is raining, cold and windy."