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Auckland CBD Residents, Visitors Face 24-Hour Parking Charges

Queen Street. Photo: Sharon Brettkelly

Auckland Transport (AT) has announced new 24-hour parking charges for Auckland CBD residents and visitors, including overnight, weekends, and public holidays, as part of efforts to increase revenue, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Under the new regime, parkers will be subject to hourly rates throughout the day and night, whereas previously, parking had been free in many parts of the city on Sundays and outside the hours of 8 am to 6 pm.

The introduction of these charges has caught Mayor Wayne Brown off guard. "Yeah, well nor did I," he expressed when informed by the Herald on Sunday that residents were unaware of the changes until receiving a letter dated 2 May in their letterboxes on Friday.



"And I'm sick of it. [AT] have got to start listening ... I did tell them the other day, 'Don't do that, I want a full parking strategy", NZ Herald reported.

The new "Central City Paid Parking Zone" covers on-street parking in the downtown area bordered by State Highways 1 and 16, including Wynyard Quarter in the west, south to the Upper Queen St overpass, and east to the border with Parnell. The changes are expected to be implemented by July, as stated in a letter distributed to inner-city residents by AT.

One resident expressed concern that the changes could cost him more than $11,000 a year. "The letter was just dropped in our letterbox, you know? And I read it and was like, 'Oh, that's a massive, massive change,'" said Anil Ramnath.

Auckland Transport defended the new regime in its letter to residents, stating that it has been directed to take a "more commercial approach" to managing public assets to reduce the burden on ratepayers. The move aligns with the concept that storing private assets such as vehicles on public road reserves should not be free.

Mayor Brown emphasized the need for clarity and transparency in implementing such changes, advocating for a comprehensive parking strategy that is understood and debated by all stakeholders.

Residents, however, have expressed dissatisfaction with the sudden and significant increase in parking costs, questioning the impact on their daily lives and the local community. They fear the changes will add financial pressure and restrict their ability to enjoy the CBD during off-peak hours.

AT's move to introduce 24/7 parking fees follows previous initiatives to increase parking charges and remove half-priced public transport fares. Residents argue that the new charges are disproportionate compared to private providers, creating challenges for businesses and landlords in the area.

While AT has been directed to increase external income by raising parking charges and fees, residents are calling for a more balanced approach that considers the needs of the community and businesses in the CBD.

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