By PHILIP CHANDLER
Frankton residents near Queenstown Airport are paying a high price for council’s move to stop long-term airport parkers clogging their streets.
Since last December, when 48-hour parking restrictions were placed in their area, residents have been fined up to $57 a time for parking outside their homes for more than two days.
What annoys them just as much is council’s so far refusing to provide a simple solution — resident vehicle permits — while it undertakes a district-wide parking strategy.
Resident Angela Spackman says the 48-hour restriction ‘‘was introduced to try and help residents but unfortunately it is hindering them and ticketing them for parking outside their home’’.
Another resident, Amanda Youell, who initially lobbied council for a resident parking
permit in January, has consulted 36 other households and says she’s found ‘‘overwhelming support’’ for this solution.
She notes many households, especially those with several occupants, rely on street-side
parking as they don’t have enough space on their proper ties.
Locals ‘forced’ to drive’
She and others say council, by not issuing parking permits, is flying in the face of its strategy to get people walking, cycling and bussing.
Writing to mayor Jim Boult last month, she says ‘‘there is enormous support and desire from Frankton residents to reduce their individual impact on the environment by walking, biking and bussing more’’.
‘‘However, being forced to move our cars every 48 hours goes against the environmental gains that can be achieved by us all using other modes of transport when we can …
‘‘Our current parking restrictions force us to move our cars almost daily, and I have been told by a number of residents they are now choosing to simply drive to work and not both er with alternative options.’’
Youell points out how, absurdly, some residents when leaving town, rather than walk to the airport, now park in another suburb ‘‘just so they can be driven back to Frankton to
catch their plane’’.
Another resident, Scott Dagg, says: ‘‘If you look down Riverside Road at the moment you’ve got boats and cars and campervans and all sorts of shit parked on people’s front
lawns because they can’t park on the road for more than 48 hours.
‘‘Or they’re having to dig out and make their driveway wider so they can fit a couple of cars.
One resident, amongst comments solicited by Youell, says they’ve even had to put their caravan in paid storage.
Another writes: ‘‘I find it hard keeping track of moving my car every couple of days — I bike to work — and I get stressed out about the thought of a fine on top of extremely-
high living costs.’’
‘Have a look at the bigger picture’
Frankton-based councillor Glyn Lewers ‘‘completely’’ sympathises with residents caught out by 48-hour parking restrictions, but says council has to look at the bigger picture.
He explains the restrictions were put in place last December to ‘‘stop the Christmas rush’’ of would-be long-term parkers clogging up streets near the airport.
‘‘I was getting a lot of feedback from residents that they couldn’t even get out of their driveways.
‘‘It was agreed to put this in just to sort that issue out in the interim while we looked at this parking management plan, because this was being brought to a head by central government telling us we can’t force developers to provide parking.’’
Lewers, who also lives near the airport, says he personally favours a residential parking
‘‘We’ve got to make sure as a council that it is an effective way of doing it, plus we don’t want to burden [council’s] regulatory [department] with the cost of actually enforcing it as well as running [it].’’
He says council has to look at the bigger picture as ‘‘fixing one little area of parking in one spot can have unintended consequences elsewhere …’’
He suggests affected residents submit to council’s parking strategy, closing tomorrow,
‘‘so your voice is heard quite clear’’.