Locals ‘to adapt’ with parking plan

A new parking plan for the Ashburton district has been finalised despite concerns that it does not cater for the bigger vehicles of the rural community.

The Ashburton District Council adopted final documents into an updated parking strategy and town centre parking management plan at last week’s council meeting, the first of its kind in a decade.

It followed workshops and public deliberations earlier this year.

However some councillors debated how conductive the final strategy was for Ashburton’s rural demographic.

Councillor Carolyn Cameron did not support the adoption after debating several points around the plans during talks at the meeting.

Her concerns were heightened after it was revealed that some twin cab ute owners had copped $70 parking infringement notices recently in the Ashburton town.

“There’s little flexibility in this plan,” she said.

I’m disappointed with the size of the [carparks] and I’d like to see more capacity in the town and people not getting fined for having oversized vehicles.”

Councillor Lynette Lovett was also worried that some of the parks in the CBD were cramped.

“If you’ve got a long vehicle, your tow bar is on one white line and the bumper is on the front of the other white line.” she said

“Some of these carparks are very short…we are in a rural town and farmers do have bigger vehicles.”

Council infrastructure services group manager Neil McCann said it could be reviewed when the plans are audited but any changes could come at a price.

“What it would mean is that some carparks would be bigger and then we’ll eventually end up with less carparks.”

He also said there are some bigger carparks situated in neighboring side streets in the CBD.

Urban councillor Leen Braam said the district needed to look to the future.

“We have to learn to live within the place we’re living in,” he said.

“We have to make it really nice, for all people.

“I know I’ve got a big truck as well and I can park it quite easy.”

Other councillors and Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown backed the plans which had previously gone out to the community for feedback.

– Adam Burns