Tradies facing CBD parking issues

Parking issues in the CBD are nothing new in Tauranga. Photo: John Borren.

Parking in Tauranga’s central business district has always been a contentious issue, and a recent social media post has highlighted the issues some tradies are facing while working in the CBD.

The Facebook post claims current parking options for construction workers in the city centre are limited to spending $100-plus per week on parking or moving vehicles every two hours. Failure to down tools and move vehicles has seen workers hit with $30 fines every time they’re parked in a spot for more than 120 minutes.

The poster claims they are working hard on a specific development which is meant to improve the CBD, but he says workers are being “savagely done by the council for parking”.

“Many of the contractors need their vehicles close at hand as many tools, plant and products for the job need to be accessible, and due to the vast number of people on site, bringing everything on site is a safety risk.”

Tauranga City Council transport director Russell Troup says parking options for the general public and other CBD workers vary.

“There are parking buildings, or on-street car parks that have variable time limits or charging depending on location and proximity to the CBD,” says Troup.

When asked if people working on developments in the CBD should be exempt from paying for parking, he says the CBD has a constrained parking environment with short-term parking provided to assist retail businesses in attracting customers.

“Providing longer term parking discourages vehicle turnover for these retailers, which discourages shoppers from entering the CBD, unable to find an empty parking space,” says Troup.

“With large numbers of long-term construction workers parking in the CBD on street spaces, there would be no spaces left for these short term parkers.

“Retail store workers in these same retail stores would be disadvantaged by any decision to provide free parking to workers from other industries.”

Tauranga currently has 3642 public parking spaces in the CBD.

Troup says there has been little change to the overall number of spaces in the past five years.

“Although there is temporary variance when developments within the city, like the Farmers building, need road space during construction.”

He says the parking fees reflect the high cost of operating and maintaining carpark buildings.

“Tauranga’s are very cost effective compared to other main cities.”

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