Shopper Sharon Palmer uses a parking machine in Nelson’s CBD. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Change for city parking

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Nelsonians will be familiar with the scene, a busy Saturday morning in town, you finally find the perfect park only to realise you don’t have change for the machine.

Nelson’s parking has long been an issue of contention and a number of locals have made the call to Nelson City Council to change the traditional coin operation to an Efpos-friendly system.

Wei-Siew Leon says she finds it incredibly annoying needing to carry around the right amount of change.

“In Wellington they have snapper cards, so it would be good to get something like that.”

Helen Weir agrees: “These are stupid machines and are not user friendly at all, would be a jolly good idea to upgrade them to Eftpos.”

Sharon Palmer from Richmond says the parking metres play on her mind when she travels into town.

“I always carry around change just in case I need to use the parking machines.”

Locals were also aggrieved to learn about a fee increase which will come into effect next month.

The hourly charge for parking in Nelson city will increase by 50 cents to $2 on August 1, although the first hour of parking in the city is free.

Alec Louverdis, group manager infrastructure says the proposal to increase the parking fee by 50 cents per hour was consulted on as part of the Long-Term Plan process.

Alec says the key driver was to increase the revenue gathered from car parking as this goes towards city centre enhancement.

“This funding is used for initiatives such at the summer hanging basket display, maintenance of street trees, furniture and the like.”

He says an increase in parking charges will enable more to be done to in this area, alongside other work planned of the city centre. Part of this plan also includes upgrading the coin operated parking machines.

“The renewal and updating of parking meters is also included in the Long Term Plan, this project will begin this financial year with a study into smarter options for parking meters in the CBD.”

The one-hour free parking will remain in place.