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All-day parking scheme coming to City Hall

The car park at City Hall (Photo by Mark Tatem)

City Hall car park will next week become an all-day parking site, with motorists paying an upfront fee on entry.

Drivers can pay $15 per day (reduced from $17.50) and enter City Hall car park any time after 8am Monday to Saturday on a first come, first served basis. Payment can be made by cash, credit or debit cards. Once City Hall car park is full, attendants will leave one gate open for people to exit as they wish. The car park will be locked from midnight until 8am. The price for disabled parking will be $10 per day.

In a statement this afternoon, a City of Hamilton spokeswoman stated the change is being made to tackle falling parking revenues within the municipality.

“The City of Hamilton has assessed and determined that City Hall car park is currently being used for all day parking by motorists who are generally not paying, and therefore has introduced an upfront all day parking fee upon entry,” she said.

“Today most motorists who try to use the City Hall car park for its intended short term parking, of three hours or less, will find the car park generally full to capacity all day, with most users failing to follow car park regulations, or pay for its use. This means the customers of Hamilton’s retail shops, restaurants and other local businesses are unable to use this car park for short term parking.

“In addition, the City is losing a significant amount of revenue, which it simply cannot afford. The current absence of short term parking is due to a lack of enforcement, either by the City with clamping and the relevant City Parking Ordinance being invalidated by the Supreme Court in October 2014, or in spite of numerous requests, the traffic wardens who patrol our city streets will not enter the city’s car parks to enforce the same parking regulations.”

Corporation secretary Ed Benevides said: “It is our hope that this will be a temporary measure that can be withdrawn once we have traffic wardens patrolling the car parks or a comprehensive parking ordinance passed through the legislative process. It is unfortunate but the deliberate refusal of motorists to pay and or follow the rules and ensure short term parking, have forced this response to limit the loss in revenue.”

The spokeswoman said the cost of parking at City Hall will be lower than regular all-day parking in other car parks, however the most affordable all-day parking is Bull’s Head car park, where parking costs $5 per day.

“The Corporation of Hamilton regrets having to take this course of action and hopes that this can be quickly resolved and parking within Hamilton can return to some semblance of normalcy,” the spokeswoman said.

“We apologise to the fee paying car park users for any inconvenience caused and hope the reduction in the all day fee at City Hall Car Park will offset any inconvenience.”