Free Parking extension the right call

Hutt Valley news
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Chris Bishop MP is celebrating the decision of the Hutt City Council who today voted 9-4 in favour of keeping free parking in the Hutt CBD.

“This is a big win for Hutt CBD retailers, residents, and the whole community,” says Mr Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley.

“Over 1800 people signed my petition at FreeHuttParking.nz last year, calling on the Council to introduce 60 minutes free parking, and over 1000 people submitted to the Council Annual Plan process.

“Overall, 71% of people who submitted were in favour of free parking, which is exactly the same as the number of people in favour in the Council’s own survey.

“Free parking has been a success. I’ve had enormous positive feedback on how this initiative is encouraging people to park and shop in the CBD more, rediscover the area after many years, and not worry about the hassle of ‘feeding the meter’.

“The facts back this up. Overall Lower Hutt CBD retail card spending grew 3% during free parking hours in the period of the trial, and overall spending actually grew 5.6% during the whole free trial period. Queens Drive spending was up 12% during free parking hours.

“Retailers in the CBD have been asking for 60 minutes free parking for years, and the Council has made the right call in backing it. Free parking’s been good for residents, good for retailers, and good for the Hutt community.

“Raising parking charges beyond the first hour and at the riverbank to off-set the loss of revenue is a pragmatic and sensible compromise.

“Well done to the Councillors who backed this move – good on you!”