Christchurch City Council will provide one-hour free parking in its central city parking buildings for the next three months.
“We want people to come into the city centre and support the local hospitality and retail businesses over winter. One way we can encourage people to do that is to provide the first hour of parking free in the Lichfield Street and Christchurch Art Gallery parking buildings,’’ says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
The one-hour free offer will apply seven days a week until the end of August.
The one-hour free offer in the parking buildings will reduce budgeted revenue by about $300,000 over three months.
“Councillors were aware of the impact on revenue as a result of the one-hour free parking offer, however it is a practical way we can support our central city businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 Level 4 and 3 restrictions,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.
“Our city centre was just starting to really pick up again after the devastation of the earthquakes when the COVID crisis hit. The businesses in the area are now faced with a whole new set of challenges and they have asked us for help.
“There was a debate around one-hour or two-hours free off-street parking and we have settled on a one-hour free parking offer, which has proven successful in the past at encouraging more people into the city centre. We’re hoping that by re-introducing it on a short-term basis we can stimulate more activity in the central city over the winter,’’ the Mayor says.
People visiting the central city who chose to use on-street metered parking will be charged the standard fee of $3.10 per hour.
The Council has not been charging for on-street or off-street parking in the city centre since mid-March. However, it has been enforcing on-street time limits since the country moved to Alert Level 2 to ensure that parking in the central city turns-over and is not monopolised by commuters seeking all day parking.
The one-hour free offer and the return to charging for on-street metered parking will begin after the long weekend on Tuesday 2 June.