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Workers hog free parking, retailers fed up

PARKING has often been at a premium in the central city on most days since Covid-19 Alert Level 2 started as people take advantage of the now-open shops — and the free parking.

But there have been complaints from some retailers that many of the parks outside retail stores in the central city are snapped up early by office workers and others who work in the CBD.

Gisborne District Council stopped parking enforcement during lockdown and declared parking in the CBD was free.

One retailer said that by 8.30am, Derby Street is fully parked up.

“It's chocker most mornings between Gladstone Road and Childers Road, which we don't see normally.

“At the same time all the parking in the unlimited parking down towards Kahutia Street is empty, when it's normally full by that time with the vehicles of workers in the CBD.

“It's incredibly frustrating,” he said.

A council spokeswoman said the council would make a decision on the next steps for parking in the CBD at the finance and performance committee meeting on May 27.

“I wish the free parking was over now,” the retailer said.

“A lot of office workers don't realise how they affect the retailers by taking up parks outside businesses, and a lot of those businesses need all the help they can get at the moment because of the retail shutdown during lockdown.”

Another retailer said the free parking was not working to the benefit of retailers.

“It's a great idea, but what's happening is that all the workers are parking in town in front of their work places and offices.”

She said it would be affecting the level of trade in shops.

“Because shoppers cannot get a park they don't stop, because a lot of people in Gisborne don't like walking too far to shop.

“It would be really good if employers pointed out to their staff that they should not park outside work, but where they normally park.

“That would allow people coming into town to shop to do so more easily, and support businesses that really need it.”

The council spokeswoman said the council customer service team received a call from a member of the public on Wednesday thanking the council for the current free parking.

The caller said they appreciated it and “it made shopping quicker and easier”.

“We have not received any other Request for Service or feedback regarding the free parking.”

SPACE FOR DEBATE: Gisborne's CBD free parking initiative is frustrating some retailers. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

  1. Glennys says:

    I am retired and was so happy I could actually park near the shop I wanted to go into. Really appreciated the council making this available. I recently broke my ankle and struggle to get about, so planned going to the Bernina shop and others – sadly both times I went into town after breakfast, all parks were full . . . . Great move from the council, but selfish attitude by workers.