Thursday, May 23, 2024

New parking scheme for Wellington suburbs

Wellington City Council has announced a new parking scheme will be rolled out from 24 June in Newtown and Berhampore to better manage existing and future parking pressures in these busy growing suburbs.

The Council says the changes will happen in Newtown west (Rintoul Street side) and Berhampore first, and in Newtown east (the hospital side) from mid-2025. In all three areas, following community feedback, fewer time-restricted car parks than proposed will be installed initially.

The scheme was approved in principle late last year by Kōrau Tūāpapa, Wellington City Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Committee after a first round of consultation in October. 

The Council’s Koata Hātepe Regulatory Processes Committee met this week to make final decisions and changes following a second round of community consultation in February this year.

Committee Chair, Councillor Sarah Free says significant changes have been made to the planned parking scheme after each round of consultation.

Most recently – and in response to the varied views and concerns raised – it has been decided to roll the scheme out more gradually, she said.

“There will also be more checks along the way to help ensure we are getting the pace of change, and balance right for residents who want to be able to park near to where they live, and also for hospital staff and other people who work in the area and come by car,” Cr Free says. 

“In future, if it’s needed, we can add more of the time-restricted parking we’ve approved today to make things easier for residents with permits, and visitors. But initially, we’re only planning to install about half.”  

Cr Free says introducing a parking scheme in the wider Newtown area is necessary because parking has been under pressure for years and there have been repeated community calls for action to address this.

“This situation will only get worse if we don’t have measures in place and a way to manage parking more fairly.  These are busy, growing neighbourhoods where more and more people are living, and the number of people working at Wellington Regional Hospital is also rising,” she says. 

She said the more gradual roll-out will give hospital staff who currently rely on on-street parking more time to consider alternatives. Wellington Regional Hospital will also have more time to put alternative travel measures in place and make progress on proposals to have more parking on the hospital campus.

In response to feedback from people who work at the hospital and others who were concerned about hospital staff, the Council has been investigating the legality and possibility of dedicating about 50 on-street parking spaces in the vicinity of Mein Street for hospital staff. 

The hospital is interested in this proposal. Once it is fine-tuned, it will be subject to a traffic resolution consultation process later this year. This will give everyone another opportunity to comment on this proposal, Council said in a statement.

If approved, it’s anticipated this would be introduced from mid-2025 and reviewed after six months.

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