How new Auckland Transport parking charges will affect Rodney residents & ratepayers

1 July. How will the new parking fee charges in central Auckland affect people driving from Rodney?

Auckland Transport recently announced car drivers will be stung with newly introduced 24-hour parking charges covering overnight, weekends and public holidays.

These new parking charges are for on-street parking on roads near the Viaduct Harbour.

The reason being is so Auckland Transport can produce more income and thus reduce the need for higher rate increases to support its own operational costs.

As from July 1 parkers will face new charges for Sunday and public holiday parking, which had been free previously.

For example, for streets closest to the Viaduct Basin the fee for weekend and public holiday parking will be $3.50 per hour for the first two hours and $6 for every additional hour.

From 1 October parkers will also face new charges for overnight parking, which also had previously been free.

The overnight charge will be $2-$3 per hour, depending on which inner-city street.

Possibly some good news for Rodney’s residents is these changes do not apply to the Fanshawe Street downtown carpark. These will remain at $5 per hour with a maximum charge of $24 to park overnight until 6am. On weekends, the charge is a flat $7 per day. That carpark operates from 6am until midnight, and is closed on public holidays.

The Council sold this carpark building to private developers requiring them to provide 200 short term carparks, however, the future parking rates could change under the new ownership.

Auckland Transport had to backtrack the rollout of its controversial changes by delaying the implementation of the new overnight charges until 1 October and apologising to Mayor Wayne Brown over inadequate communication to stakeholders.

Auckland Transport defended itself by stating it had been told to take a “more commercial approach” to managing public assets to reduce the burden on ratepayers.

One of their points was that with more and more people living in apartment buildings with no parking facilities their residents are instead choosing to use the road-side parking to store their cars for free. Sometimes for long periods of time.

This in turn has a knock-on effect, reducing the number of street spaces available for people travelling from out of town, such as those driving from Rodney.

Auckland Transport also argued that even if an apartment building had gained consent to build without providing car parks, it shouldn’t mean ratepayers should be providing them free car parks on the publicly funded roads.

It is ironic that Auckland Council’s assumption is, if you build apartments, or houses, without providing off-street parking then people will use public transport, cycle or walk rather than needing a car. That assumption isn’t proving to be correct.