Richmond Mall will introduce parking wardens next month in an effort to stop people leaving their cars there all day.
Mall manager Belinda de Clercq says a recent investigation found up to 40 per cent of the vehicles in the mall car park each day were there for the entire work day.
She says those “abusing” the free parks were either retail workers in the mall, retail workers on Richmond’s Queen St or people parking their cars at the mall and catching the bus or carpooling to work in Nelson city.
She says the high number of people parking there all day has forced the mall to introduce parking wardens, which will fine people $65 for going over the two hour time limit.
The company employed is national car parking firm Wilsons.
Belinda says there will be flexibility for shoppers who need to use a park for longer, with an on-line system able to give them extra time.
“We understand that there a times when more than two hours is needed, for example when a customer is booked in for a colour or tint at the hairdressers, in this case we will have a process in place for these customers to ensure they are excused from being ticketed.”
The enforcement programme will be introduced in two stages, the first on August 4 will simply mean a warning ticket for people parking over the three hour limit. From August 11 the full enforcement will begin. She says feedback from mall retailers has been mixed, but the major businesses are on board.
“Some retailers say it will inconvenience their staff but the majors are on board 100 per cent. It’s all about turning over customers and making it easier for them to find a park.”
There are 770 car parks in the mall and 1300 public parks in the Richmond CBD and Belinda says the new enforcement could cause problems for the town’s residential parks or public carparks and encourages the council to consider those impacts. “They are doing a study at the moment into car parking but I don’t think they’re aware of how big an issue it is.”