Let’s keep one hour free parking in the Hutt CBD.
On Thursday 2 June, the Hutt Council will vote on whether or not to make 60 minutes free parking in the Hutt CBD permanent (it’s currently in a trial phase).
It’s close. Council is split down the middle.
Free parking has been a success. Here are the facts:
- 71% of people who submitted to the Council annual plan are in favour of 60 mins free parking
- 71% of people in a survey conducted by the Council’s Citizens’ Panel are in favour of free parking
- Overall Lower Hutt CBD retail card spending grew 3% during free parking hours in the period of the trial.
- Overall spending actually grew 5.6% during the whole free trial period
- Retailers relying on CBD free parking significantly outperformed merchants with their own parking, growing at 10.0% compared to 0.5%.
- The Queens Drive precinct grew 11.9% during free parking hours.
It’s clear that thanks to free parking, people have been rediscovering the Lower Hutt CBD. Spending is up, people are enjoying not having to fish around for change, and retailers are benefiting.
Now we need to send a clear message to the Council that free parking works – and they need to make it permanent.
Now is not the time to do away with all the positive progress that has been made.
The vote’s on Thursday, and we need to convince all Councillors to make 60 minutes free parking permanent.
About the CBD parking
The CBD is the only area in Lower Hutt with paid parking, encompassing the area bounded by Laings Rd, Knights Rd, Cornwall St, Pretoria St and the Riverbank. Providing a portion of free parking for shoppers and diners will boost the CBD and breathe new life into the area. Only a few weeks ago two more stores in High St closed. It’s time we did something about it – so sign the petition and let’s #FreeTheCBD!
In 2010 the Council made parking temporarily free in the CBD in order to boost local retailers – if it was good enough then it can do it again now! Christchurch City Council is also considering free parking in the CBD to attract shoppers and diners into the central city.
About Chris Bishop
Chris Bishop is the National Party List MP based in the Hutt Valley. Chris was born and raised in Lower Hutt and is passionate about making the Hutt an even better place to live, play and work, than it is today.
Chris has a strong record of contributing to the community, and was the 2006 Young Wellingtonian of the Year. In his first year as an MP he has focused on promoting the Hutt as ‘Technology Valley’ and the centre for New Zealand’s growing high-tech and innovation sectors. He is also passionate about the potential of our young people, and this year has helped launch the inaugural Hutt City Youth Awards.