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Parking Strategy for Richmond and Motueka Set for Consultation

December 15th, 2017

Increasing pressure on parking in the Richmond and Motueka town centres has spurred the development of a draft parking strategy to manage demand over the next 10 years.

The Tasman District Council has approved the draft Richmond and Motueka Town Centre Parking Strategy for public consultation, due to take place in early January 2018.

The draft strategy aims to manage the increasing demand for parking through greater enforcement of time-restricted parking, changing long-stay parks nearest the town centres to time restricted parking over time, increasing capacity in existing public car parks, and a flexible approach to managing peak demand - such as seasonal parking controls and the option of charging for parking in priority areas in the future.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said both Motueka and Richmond were at a transition point.

"Motueka and Richmond developed as rural service towns but the growth in our District means they are becoming urban centres in their own right - and pressure on prime parking space is growing. However, they are not at the point where major investment in new parking capacity is warranted - that's probably at least 10 years away - so we need to be smart about how we manage the capacity we have."

Richard said the strategy was based on a low-risk approach to parking investment.

"Both centres are growing swiftly, but there is uncertainty associated with future growth. Demographic changes and advances in technology that might reduce reliance on private cars are both examples of future changes that could affect demand for parking. The approach we're suggesting may mean people need to park a little further from their destination than they're used to - that might be using the off-street car parks in Richmond town centre rather than parking on Queen Street itself, or it might be a five-minute walk from the car for some people commuting in to work."

Richard said, in addition to the parking strategy, the Council planned to investigate a Richmond loop bus service, as well as a formal carpooling scheme to provide alternative transport options for residents in Wakefield, Brightwater, Motueka, Mapua and elsewhere.

"Unfortunately at the moment the numbers don't stack up for additional bus services for those areas, but we do want to promote alternatives for those communities, which will help with parking demand as well as being better for the environment and helping reduce congestion on our roads."

The Richmond and Motueka Town Centre Parking Strategy will be open for public consultation from mid-January to late February 2018. Hearings are scheduled for March 2018, with adoption of a final version of the strategy expected in May 2018.

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