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Corporation explains new pay-to-park system

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Following confusion surrounding the pay-to-park operation at the new City Hall car park, an in-depth demonstration was given yesterday on how the system will work.

The system will come into effect on Monday.

City of Hamilton officials Ian Hind and Ed Benevides, along with Mayor Charles Gosling, walked through the paid barrier, describing step-by-step how the machines will help to reduce long-term parking and encourage short-term shopping.

In a four-point flyer that will be handed out by employees, the City shows motorists how to park and pay effectively, using entry and exit tickets to calculate the time spent in the car park.

Mr Gosling said: “Regretfully, even after all of the press that the system has had over the last week, a survey yesterday revealed that 40 per cent of those who are parking within City Hall car park are not paying any parking fee.

“This has been a three-hour parking lot since 2002. If you park for longer than three hours you should expect to get a parking ticket. The parking tickets right now are $75.”

With the new system in place, drivers will be paying $2 an hour for a maximum of 3 hours — a total of $6. If the decision is made to stay a fourth hour, an extra $10 will be required. Previously anybody staying over three hours was liable to face a parking ticket.

“If you decide to extend your stay for longer you will see it increase dramatically and the final fee will come to a total of $81,” Mr Gosling added.

“This is done to entice you to park somewhere else. If you wish to park all day rather than parking here for three hours, moving and coming back for another three hours why don't you go down to Bull's Head where it would only cost you $5 for that one particular day.

“We have large signs here in place making you fully aware of what the rates are and if you wish to go further than the three hours' stay then I'm afraid you are going to have to be paying for that additional time stay.”

The rates caused quite a stir on social media after the sign was placed last week Thursday, with many people putting their heads together in an attempt to “beat the system” and avoid paying $81.

Others agreed with the change, believing that it would make dropping in and out of Hamilton more convenient. Added security will be in place at City Hall, as the cameras now have a clear line of sight due to the removal of trees in the area.

The car park could also be used for public functions.

Mr Hind, CoH senior engineer, said: “Payment will be taken by cash or card and we do hope to integrate EasyPark in the near future. The integration between EasyPark and the electronic barrier system is still being worked on.

“It is likely that the EasyPark app device will be ready first but we hope some time in September we can announce that it is ready and you will be able to use cash, card and EasyPark.

“I would just like to thank the public for their patience. There has been a couple of months of disruption to them.

“We've kept the car park open while we've been doing all this work.

“I'd also like to thank all the contractors involved, who contributed and also many of my colleagues who have helped.”

• To view the flyer, see the PDF under “Related Media”.

New system: Fred Richardson, Corporation of Hamilton employee, buys the first ticket at the opening of the new City Hall Car Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 17, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 17, 2016 at 11:26 am)

Corporation explains new pay-to-park system

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