New Direction Proposed for Managing Car Parking New Plymouth

A new approach to managing car parking in New Plymouth is being proposed by the Council.

- New Plymouth, New Zealand

The Draft Parking Strategy is open for public comment this Saturday (13 July) as the Council proposes to ease parking requirements for businesses and encourage better use of private business and public car parking spaces in the district – particularly in and around New Plymouth’s CBD.

We have a lot of private and public car parking spaces in the central city area and we know they are under-utilised,” says Manager Environmental Strategy and Policy Colin Comber.

We also know that the requirement under the District Plan for businesses to provide a minimum number of off-street car parks is limiting the use of some central-city properties.

We want to increase the vibrancy of the CBD by easing the way for businesses to set up in the central area. We also want to better use the pool of parking spaces that are already available – and if more parking is required, ensure it is designed in a way that contributes positively to the urban environment.

International best-practice for car park utilisation is to aim for 85 per cent occupancy. This helps ensure adequate use of car parking spaces and gives drivers a good chance of finding a parking space.

However, weekday occupancy rates for on-street public parking, off-street public parking and off-street private business parking generally ranges between 40 and 60 per cent across the whole of the CBD catchment.

Of the 9,217 parking spaces in the New Plymouth central area 60 per cent (5,572) are private business off-street, 30 per cent (2,765) are public on-street and 10 per cent (880) are public off-street.

Private business off-street parking uses almost 23ha or 18 per cent of the land in New Plymouth’s central area.

The Draft Parking Strategy proposes to:

  • Change the District Plan to remove minimum parking requirements for private off-street parking by developers in the New Plymouth central area.
  • Develop a performance-based parking management policy that uses priced parking to optimise use, rather than generate revenue – e.g. set parking fees depending on demand.
  • Improve parking information to users, such as providing real-time parking information on mobile phone applications, the Council’s website and electronic signs.

Taking a development emphasis off businesses to provide new off-street car parking aligns with our Let’s Go project which encourages active transport, and complements Taranaki Regional Council’s city bus service,” says Mr Comber.

We also see benefits in using parking charges to encourage the regular movement of vehicles in and out of parking spaces – many of the less well-used parking spaces are only a short walk from the shops.

Also, giving drivers more real-time information about parking spaces will help them get to available spaces more quickly.

Copies of the Draft Parking Strategy are available at the Civic Centre, Puke Ariki and online at Feedback can be given online, by emailing or by phoning 06-759 6060.

Feedback closes on 9 August.

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