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Additional Free Parking in Christchurch Central City Following Earthquake

( The Christchurch City Council is increasing free parking in the central city in a move to attract shoppers into the area over the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

The Council today voted to allow two hours’ free parking in its parking buildings and the Tuam Street car park from next Monday through to Sunday 30 January 2011.

A free hour’s parking, on top of the time already purchased, will also be provided at central city on-street “pay and display” meters from Monday until 31 December, 2010.

To activate the extra hour’s free parking motorists need to put a coin of any size into the meter. When the parking meter ticket is issued, it will show an extra hour in addition to the time paid for. The one hour meters are extended to two hours and the two hour meters to three hours.

The free parking offer will cost the Council an estimated loss in revenue of around $1.2 million. However all councillors at today’s meeting said they recognised the need for Council support for central city retailers to encourage shoppers into their area at what is traditionally the busiest time of the year.

Today’s decision followed a deputation to the Council meeting by Central City Business Association Manager Paul Lonsdale who told Council of the downturn in the number of people coming into the central city since the 4 September earthquake. Retailers, who are struggling financially, had identified that free parking would be an incentive for shoppers.

The staff report proposed the additional free parking for both on and off street parking in the central city to run until the end of December this year. However after considering the Association’s request the Council voted to extend the offer for its parking facilities for an additional month. The Council’s off-street parking facilities where the two hours free parking will apply are:

Lichfield Street car park
Tuam Street car park
Manchester Street car park
Oxford Terrace car park
Art Gallery car park
Kilmore Street car park
Hospital car park
Farmers car park
The Crossing car park

Before today’s decision, an hour’s free parking was already operating at the Lichfield Street, Manchester Street, Farmers and The Crossing Parking facilities, with free parking all day in the weekend at the Manchester and Tuam Street parking facilities.

Media Release 18 November 2010 from Christchurch City Council.



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