Nelson City Council’s Matt Bruce with one of the new parking meters that went live this week. Photo: Kate Russell.

New parking meters go live

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Nelson’s new ‘pay-by-plate’ parking meters have gone live.

The new meters allow people to pay using coins, payWave and via a new app, however, parking wardens will be laying off issuing tickets for a few days while people get used to them.

Gone is the requirement for a paper ticket to be displayed, so is any need to return to your car once you have paid.

Nelson City Council says ratepayers will also save more than $100,000 in paper and maintenance costs per year.

App users can extend their parking time, within the signposted maximum time limits, using their mobile phone, or use a ‘Stop/Start’ park function, which allows people to only pay for the parking that they use.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says the new parking system will assist retailers as they recover from the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Local businesses have told us that their customers are sometimes unable to find a park when they come to spend time in our City Centre. Our Pay-by-Plate meters not only make parking easier and smarter, but will also go some way to managing all day parking in the parking squares that has been a frustration for businesses and customers over recent weeks.”

The PayMyPark app charges transaction fees when users store credit on the app, and if they use it to pay for parking without registering an account.

For payments with payWave there is a 2 per cent fee so bank costs are not passed on to ratepayers, this equates to a 4c charge on a $2 park. All the money from transaction charges goes to PayMyPark or the payWave provider, there is no change to the fees collected by council.

The free first hour of parking remains, and can now be split into 15 minute increments.

However, the new system removes the ability for people to claim several free hours in one day simply by moving their vehicle.

Council says this was an unintended consequence of the previous bylaw and the new system will be fairer to everyone.

Council encourages commuters to park outside of the time-limited city centre parking, or find alternative methods of transport.

Rachel says, in August, Nelsonians will be able to pay for bus travel with Bee Card, council’s new electronic ticketing system. Until then buses will be free.

“So, this could be a good time to see if taking the bus to work, works for you. Helping more people to shift from using their car to a bike, the bus or even walking is a great way to reduce carbon emissions and deliver healthy outcomes at the same time.”

Nelson’s old electronic parking meters have been taken apart so their parts can be reused in other meters. Instead of being sent to become scrap metal, the old lollipop meters were sold to Nelsonians, raising $1500 for the Fifeshire Foundation.

For more information about the new meters, please go to: nelson.govt.nz/parking.