Council ignores public submission process
Council ignores public submission process and agrees to hike parking prices for commuters
Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer says he is disappointed a majority of councillors this morning agreed to enable Auckland Transport to lift its parking prices for the likes of early-bird and long-term commuters in council’s four CBD parking buildings before public submissions have even closed on Auckland Transport’s Parking Discussion Document.
Today’s report to the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee warned that to rush into a decision to enable such a price hike would ‘trigger further objections about the process and timeframes.’ It also reported that council could ‘consider it later in the year... ‘when the final parking strategy is adopted’, while also noting ‘Heart Of The City has also raised concerns about AT proposing changes to parking prices without consultation during the Annual Plan process.’
Nonetheless councillors ignored such options and warnings with price hikes for the likes of early-bird users now imminent. The idea that this move will measurably push more people into public transport and create many more parking spaces for the likes of shoppers is nonsense. Auckland Transport only provides 16% of the total supply of off-street CBD parks. Shifting a few of those people around will not make any difference. We should have waited until we had all the information and feedback.
“Two years ago when councillors signed off the central city parking strategy, the argument was to keep the prices down in the council-owned car-parking buildings to free up on-street parking and for the commuter market it was about applying some competitor pressure to the duopoly of Tournament and Wilsons to keep their prices down. That has worked, with council providing $13 early-bird parking with the average price for other privately owned buildings now $14. With council now putting up its prices, other parking buildings will inevitably follow. Meaning price hikes for thousands of Auckland commuters who will continue to drive into the CBD because for many it’s the best option.
“Auckland Transport’s Parking Discussion Document has been put out in the public arena in good faith and only days ago the submission period was extended to 31 July to enable everyone an opportunity to have their say. The issue of CBD off-street parking prices is a big part of that document, yet sadly it appears that has now already been decided. It seems that addressing Auckland’s Transport’s operational funding shortfall is more important,” says Cameron Brewer.