Disability parks' shared use addressed

Wakatipu Access Group member Anna Jameson is pleased the council is introducing restrictions on mobility parks. Photo: Daisy Hudson
Wakatipu Access Group member Anna Jameson is pleased the council is introducing restrictions on mobility parks. Photo: Daisy Hudson
Incoming restrictions on Queenstown mobility parking spaces have been welcomed by a disability campaigner.

At its first meeting yesterday, a newly created Queenstown Lakes District Council subcommittee approved time restrictions on six mobility car parks in Queenstown, Frankton and Arrowtown.

Council property and infrastructure general manager Peter Hansby said the restrictions would apply to three mobility spaces in Queenstown's town centre, two on Arrowtown's main street and one in Frankton's Gray St.

The restrictions are part of the council's new traffic and parking bylaw, which comes into effect on March 1.

''We received a number of submissions last year highlighting issues with the current mobility parking system and all-day time restrictions in central areas,'' Mr Hansby said.

''We've taken that on board and recommended some changes to address the concerns.''

The six mobility spaces have been chosen from the 40-plus such car parks in the district because of their proximity to essential services such as medical centres, pharmacies, a post office and, in the case of Gray St, Southern Community Laboratories.

Wakatipu Access Group member Anna Jameson raised the issue last August after becoming frustrated with a disabled council staff member parking in a mobility spot outside a medical centre all day, five days a week.

At the time, she said she had raised the issue with various council staff members, but was told they could not do anything.

When told about the planned changes this week, she said the group was ''very pleased the council has heard our concerns and is making some changes''.

''Mobility parking is so important to enable people to access the community and do those things that many take for granted, like popping out to meet a friend for coffee.

''It's about giving people a fair go, and recently in Arrowtown someone was able to park in one of the two mobility parks for 24 hours with a mobility card.

''This is why we need some restrictions so that others can also benefit from these parks.''

The Queenstown and Arrowtown mobility spaces will have a four-hour restriction, and the Gray St park will have a two-hour limit.

Also approved was a measure allowing holders of CCS Disability Action mobility permits to be able to use car parks for double the posted time restriction with no extra payment.

In her report for the subcommittee, council policy and programme performance manager Polly Lambert said such a practice had been applied as an ''unwritten rule'' in the district but needed to be formalised.

The issue of parking on verges will be covered at the subcommittee's second meeting next month.

-Additionally reported by Guy Williams

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