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Age Concern react to new car park fees

Being monitored: New all-day parking charges are coming into effect

The City of Hamilton should consider means-tested car parking fees, according to Charles Jeffers, deputy chairman of Age Concern.

Mr Jeffers was responding to news that seniors will be subjected to a fee of $10 to use City Hall car park when it becomes an all-day parking site next week.

He said that while he had not yet had a chance to get feedback from his elderly client base, he believed that many need a better a deal from the Corporation of Hamilton.

“I think they have yet to look at whether all seniors need that break,” Mr Jeffers said. “Maybe the time has come for us to do some means testing if people want breaks because the country is in debt. I certainly feel we need to watch it very closely.”

Mr Jeffers acknowledged that not all seniors should be automatically entitled to an extra discount.

Earlier this week, the City of Hamilton announced motorists are set to be required to pay an upfront fee on entry of the car park. Drivers will be subjected to a $15 all-day charge, with no option for a short stay, while seniors will have a discount of $10.

It comes after Charles Gosling, the mayor, said the municipality desperately needs to increase its revenue from parking. Mr Jeffers said he had some concerns about the difficulties parking elsewhere could pose to his members.

“The car park will not be available for people to park in for an hour or two and that could cause a problem depending on the time of day and how the parking is on the streets,” he said.

“Some seniors like to park in a parking lot because if they have a wheelchair or something to take out and assemble, it is easier to do in the parking lot than it would be on the busy street.

“I don’t see it as a really serious issue but I think that we need to look out for every avenue that is going to affect our seniors. Age Concern will be looking at the situation closely and will be reacting to the concerns of our members or any senior who calls down to our office.”