Gripes over council's parking camera 'trap'

Asian Mart owner Tau Su on the loading zone/taxi stand outside the Shotover St store. Photo:...
Asian Mart owner Tau Su on the loading zone/taxi stand outside the Shotover St store. Photo: Mountain Scene
A Shotover Street businessman is accusing Queenstown’s council of using a CCTV-monitored taxi stand outside his store as a parking trap.

Asian Mart owner Tau Su says his customers are getting pinged for parking outside the store after 6pm, when it reverts from a loading zone to a taxi stand.

Su says a single CCTV warning sign, at one end of the zone, is partially obscured by a tree, and is about 10 metres from his store’s entrance.

Signs at either end of the zone say it’s a ‘Small PSV’ zone — council jargon for taxi stands.

The inadequate signage means his customers, many of them from out of town, are falling prey to a council parking fine "trap".

He’s had to put up his own signs to warn his customers not to park there.

"Tourists can’t understand the meaning of ‘Small PSV’, even using a dictionary.

"They stop and go in for 10 seconds, but they still get a parking fine of $40."

The camera outside his store was installed last September.

Mountain Scene first covered the issue a month later, when shop owners at the other end of Shotover St labelled the council’s use of the cameras a "blatant cash grab".

The cameras are also used for crime prevention.

Su says at a time when the resort’s economy’s struggling with closed borders, the fines are causing unnecessary upset for badly needed domestic tourists.

He reckons cabbies hardly use the taxi stand anyway, because there’s another, more easily accessed one a stone’s throw away in Athol St.

Council media man Jack Barlow says it doesn’t keep records for individual cameras, but it’s issued more than 8600 parking fines since cameras were installed on Shotover St
about 10 months ago.

The council’s regulatory department is "comfortable enforcing regulations based on the signage currently in place", he says.

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