New parking regime nets $14,000 in fines

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More than $14,000 worth of parking fines has been collected by the Central Otago District Council (CODC) since it adopted a new parking enforcement regime at the end of March last year.

In the beginning, there were some teething issues with the new regime as parking officers experienced some hostility in the first few weeks, The News reported at the time.

CODC roading manager Murray Hasler said last April: “They have copped a lot of abuse”.

He commented that a nasty response from some people seemed to be part of the job.

Another report in The News last April said some Alexandra residents who lived near to restricted parking zones had been ticketed for parking outside their homes.

Their fines were refunded by the council and a request was made for residents close to restricted parking areas to provide information to council to avoid being ticked again, Mr Hasler said.

Since enforcement began in April last year, the value of infringement notices issued to mid-November 2017 was $14,570, Mr Hasler said this week.

“Parking enforcement is carried out by a contractor who has been warranted by the council to carry out the work,” he said.

“Comments from retailers have supported the enforcement undertaken.

“Retailers have also commented that enforcement has helped free up access for customers to their businesses.

“In general, members of the public have also expressed their support for the parking enforcement,” Mr Hasler said.

Members of some organisations, particularly those involving elderly drivers, had expressed their concern about not being able to park for long periods close to certain venues, Mr Hasler said.

He said information had been provided advising of other unrestricted parking alternatives.

Some business owners confirmed they had seen improvement from the scheme.

Clyde Vellacott, owner of Jamies Jewellers, in Alexandra, thought the parking restrictions had helped.

high street for customers and I see workers’ cars parked away from the main centre.”

However, he said he rarely saw a parking officer, so he was not sure how frequently they patrolled the town.

Alexandra, Clyde and Districts Business Group secretary Stuart Millis said he had noticed an improvement, saying he had even paid a fine.

“I think it was very necessary to fine people to drive the message home.”

He said businesses would lose customers if people were parking all day outside.

that somebody will not be employed or there may be less money spent in the town.”

simon.henderson@thenews.co.nz