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Council’s gift to Rotorua: two hours free Christmas parking

News Release
Friday 7 December 2012

Council’s gift to Rotorua: two hours free parking for 12 days of Christmas

ROTORUA 07.12.12: Rotorua District Council is giving residents and city retailers a Christmas gift this year in the form of 2-hour free parking in the central city over the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day.

The free parking initiative will apply to metered and ‘pay and display’ parking spaces from Thursday 13 December up to and including Christmas Eve (24 December).

However a 2-hour limit will apply and will be enforced by parking wardens. Other regular parking restrictions such a loading bays and P15 spaces will apply as usual and parking wardens will continue to check cars for expired warrants of fitness or vehicle registration.

Mayor Kevin Winters said the unanimous council decision to offer a period of free parking was made at a meeting of the Corporate and Customer Services Committee yesterday (Thursday 6 December).

“This is our Christmas gift to the residents and retailers of our city during what we know are pretty tough and challenging economic times for many people.

“For shoppers it’s a chance to save a few dollars off those numerous trips into town for Christmas shopping. We know every dollar counts at this time of year.

“And for retailers we hope it will help stimulate some extra foot traffic and retail business during the year’s most important trading period.

“This short-term initiative for our CBD is part of a wider package of other medium to longer term programmes aimed at revitalising the central city, including free WiFi, further development of our Eat Street dining precinct, and our new Walkable City information panels project.”

Mr Winters said retailers are being asked to ensure their staff do not use prime central parking spaces themselves during the period of free parking so that as much parking as possible remained available to paying customers.

He said the success or otherwise of the free parking initiative would be assessed in the New Year and findings would be incorporated into a review of parking policies that could form part of the planning and consultation process for next year’s annual plan.

Parking meters and ‘pay and display’ machines will have stickers placed on them over night just ahead of the free parking period kicking off, to let people know they will not have to feed meters from 13 to 24 December. Other promotional channels being used to build awareness include newspaper and radio advertising, posters in shop windows and flyers being placed under vehicle windscreen wipers in the lead-up period.

The cost of the free parking initiative is expected to be between $20,000 and $30,000 in lost parking revenue over the 12 days.


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