Opinion: Raising cost of Christchurch CBD parking 'crazy'

Photo: Geoff Sloan
Photo: Geoff Sloan
A big thing that bugs people when they go into central Christchurch is the cost of on-street car parking.

It is currently $3.10 an hour, a real put off for most.

There are cheaper options such as the multi-level car parks, which are quite reasonable.

But if you want to leave the car north of the square then you have few choices.

Now the Christchurch City Council wants to increase the hourly charge to $4. That’s crazy.

Central city businesses are understandably arching up. City councillor James Gough is also arching up.

Some parts of the central city are stagnating as the big developments, such as Riverside Market and The Terrace, attract people and their dollars.

The cafes and bars and the market are busy, busy.

Drive along Victoria St and other parts of the central city on a Saturday or Sunday for lunch or a bite in the early evening and you generally won’t have any problem getting a table - or a car park.

I can’t vouch for what happens late at night in those locations; my night owl days appear to be long gone.

So if car parking goes up to $4 an hour it will be even less of an incentive for people to go into town.

Gough told his fellow city councillors at a meeting last week implementing such a plan flies in the face of what the council is currently trying to achieve - bring more people into the central city.

Bars and cafes are closing at an alarming rate; the post-quake boom in Victoria St and other areas for that industry appears to be over.

Riverside and The Terrace are also right in the zone for tourists; some of the other areas which once boomed now appear to be off the beaten track.

As bars and cafes in those areas try ways of getting the business with GrabOne and other deals, what they don’t need are more barriers to getting people through the door.

Increasing car parking charges is a big barrier.

barry@starmedia.kiwi

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