13 Feb 2024

Motorcyclists face parking charges in Wellington

7:24 am on 13 February 2024
Electric motorcycle.

Motorbike riders could be paying for parking in Wellington in the future. File photo. Photo: 123RF

Motorcycle and motor scooter riders in Wellington are being revved up by a proposal to introduce paid parking.

City councillors will this week consider options for their draft long term plan - the council's ten year budget - and among the proposals are changes to parking which would see a fee of $2.50 an hour introduced for motorbike and motorised scooter parking, which currently cost nothing.

There would also be paid parking introduced for suburbs such as Island Bay, Tawa, Newlands Johnsonville and Kilbirnie.

David Crawford is a keen motorcycle rider from Eastbourne, who drives into Wellington regularly.

He said motorcycles played a part in easing congestion on Wellington's roads, and he did not think that adding a parking cost was clever planning by the council.

"If somebody doesn't want to travel on a bus or a train, a motorcycle or a scooter is the next best thing for road congestion."

Alongside congestion, he said they also took up less space, with up to 30 motorcycles able to fit in the space of three car lengths.

He felt giving motorcyclists free parking was an easy concession the council could make.

"The whole role of city councils is to try and facilitate a breadth of transport options," he said. "Sometimes you have to have a concession in one area if you need to remove congestion in another area. So having free parking spots for motorcyclists isn't costing them a lot of money."

He said if motorcyclists wanted to park in a paid car space, they could choose to do so.

Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) president Marcail Parkinson said "scooters and motorbikes are a way that a lot of students use to get around because it means that they don't have to pay for parking at their apartment often and it means that they can come up to uni easily".

She said with Victoria University located on a hill it made transport necessary for many, and she feared adding an extra cost would make it more difficult for student to travel.

She said VUWSA encouraged scooters as they were smaller and more environmentally friendly than cars.

"So charging money for scooters, it just makes it less likely that people will use scooters and motorbikes and might push them back towards using cars."

For students living on a tight budget it made having a scooter also cost prohibitive.

"$2.50 for an hour doesn't sound too bad, but when you're stuck at uni for six to 10 hours studying and then classes, that adds up pretty fast."

The council will meet on Thursday and will also discuss plans to invest $1.1 billion in water infrastructure that will slow down the implementation of the Golden Mile upgrade.

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