Parking limit frustrates residents

Among Frankton residents angry over the effects of 48-hour parking restrictions are (from left)...
Among Frankton residents angry over the effects of 48-hour parking restrictions are (from left) Scott Dagg, Dave Bradley, Angela Spackman, Jon Rowe, Amanda Youell, Simon Wilkinson and Beth Lyons. PHOTO: PHILIP CHANDLER
Frankton residents near Queenstown Airport are paying a high price for a move to stop long-term airport parkers clogging their streets.

Since last December, when the Queenstown Lakes District Council introduced 48-hour parking restrictions in the area, residents have been fined up to $57 a time for parking outside their homes for more than two days.

The council has so far refused to provide a simple solution — resident vehicle permits — while it undertakes a district-wide parking strategy.

Resident Amanda Youell, who initially lobbied council for a resident parking permit in January, had consulted 36 other households and said there was "overwhelming support" for the permits.

Many households, particularly those with several occupants, relied on street-side parking due to a lack of space on their properties, she said.

She and others said by not issuing parking permits, council was flying in the face of its strategy to get people walking, cycling and bussing.

She wrote to Queenstown mayor Jim Boult last month to tell him there was "enormous support and desire" from Frankton residents wanting to reduce their environmental impact.

"However, being forced to move our cars every 48 hours goes against the environmental gains that can be achieved by us all using other modes of transport when we can ..."

She said the parking restrictions forced residents to move their cars almost daily, and many now chose simply to drive to work instead of using alternative transport.

Another resident, Scott Dagg, said the restrictions meant boats, cars and camper vans were parked on front lawns along Riverside Rd, or property owners were forced to widen their driveways to fit more vehicles.

Frankton-based councillor Glyn Lewers said he "completely" sympathised with residents, but the council had to look at the bigger picture.

Restrictions were introduced as an interim solution to "stop the Christmas rush" of would-be long-term parkers clogging up streets near the airport.

Mr Lewers said the 48-hour limit was in place to sort that issue out while the council looked at the parking management plan, being brought to a head by Government "telling us that we can’t force developers to provide parking".

He was in favour of a residential parking permit system, but said the council needed to find an effective way of doing it, without burdening its regulatory department with enforcement and operation.

However, the council did need to look at the bigger picture, because "fixing one little area of parking in one spot can have unintended consequences elsewhere," he said.

By Philip Chandler

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