Earlier this week Councillors voted in favour of holding a workshop on the issue of mobility car parks and for the matter to come back before them this year.
The recommendation adopted is:that given the short timeframe to respond to the mobility parking deputation, and without precise knowledge of the details contained therein, that a further report be prepared for a Councillor workshop held on 24 September 2012, which fully discusses the content of the deputation and discussions relating to it, prior to a report back to the Planning and Policy Committee meeting held before the end of the year.
Mobility car park users currently pay $50 for a mobility car park card - this provides them with access to metered mobility car parks which are strategically placed around the CBD ensuring those who use them are within 200metres of their destination. The card fee is paid to CCS Disability Action - Palmerston North branch, to cover the cost of the administration of the cards.
Up until now the Palmerston North City Council car parking regulations make it clear that people parking in mobility car parks should, like others, pay by the meter.
Roading manager Graeme Tong says earlier this year, after a number of complaints as to the length of time people were parking in mobility car parks Council officers discovered that parking wardens were not actively enforcing the Bylaw.
"Parking wardens were reminded of their role, the change to enforcement was advertised and card holders were advised of the change through a letter and friendly reminder notices on their windscreens if parked in a mobility car park. Unfortunately the database used for the letter distribution, was not up to date and some card holders had asked not to be included on the CCS mailing list."
"For many, the first they heard about the changes was when they were ticketed for not correctly activating the meter (a technical term for not paying at the meter)."
This week a number of deputations were made to Councillors which covered off a number of issues including but not limited to:
- The people who abused the parks should be penalized (sic), not all mobility card holders.
- Not all mobility card holders received information about the enforcement.
- Able bodied people have choices of where they park, mobility card holders do not.
- There are only two free mobility car parks in Palmerston North.
- Gold Card holders receive free parking between 9am and 11am on weekdays yet they only pay $10 for their card.
- Mobility card holders do not have equality.
- Increased focus should be placed on penalising those who are using mobility car parks who are not mobility card holders.
- Some people with mobility cards are unable to use the meters and or unable to reach/read the meters.
Council officers will now write a further report for the Councillor workshop on 24 September. At that workshop the content of the deputation and discussions relating to it will be fully discussed. Following that, officers will report back to a Planning and Policy Committee meeting before the end of the year.