Frustration over Auckland Council’s plans to charge for park-and-ride

March 20, 2024

Frustration over Auckland Council’s plans to charge for park-and-ride

Early morning commuters at Hibiscus Coast bus station.

Auckland Council’s plan to charge for parking at bus stations – buried in one sentence of its recent budget - has seen at least one councilor take to social media to complain.

Albany ward councilor John Watson noticed the brief reference to park-and-ride facilities in the document and posted his concerns about the lack of detail to Facebook.

He pointed out that the proposal was written at the bottom of page 33 with the words, “charge for Park and Rides with a focus on those that are generally full and are well serviced by connecting bus services”.

He says he found the wording suspicious.

“In the absence of any adequate detail and the specific wording they've chosen to use, you have to make the assumption that they're considering all those park-and-rides, which are filled up, and that includes the Hibiscus Coast.”

Hibiscus Coast bus station is already facing problems with a lack of parking spaces and enough buses connecting to outer suburbs.

Local transport users Michelle and Jeff Davey drive to the station in Silverdale for their commute and if they have appointments in the city. They often have to park across the road as the station fills up.

They argue that if the council were to charge people for parking, it should first expand the number of parking spaces available.

“I know they want us to use the connecting buses [from our suburb] but often they're not reliable enough and we've got an appointment at the hospital so we can't afford to miss it.”

Watson warns that charging people to park will mean more people choosing to drive instead of paying the extra cost on top of Hop cards, meaning more cars on the roads and more congestion.

“Overseas there are a number of countries where they don't charge for park-and-rides because they know they're using them to encourage people to use public transport.”

Listen to Watson explain more about the potential outcomes of charging for parking here:

The long-term plan for 2024-2034 is Auckland Council’s proposed budget for the next ten years. It’s open for feedback from the public for one month from when the budget is first published.

“I'd encourage people to submit and oppose this,” says Watson.

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