Parking fees at Sandspit parking lot are set to ramp up, with some users facing a five-fold increase, as Auckland Transport (AT) seeks to reduce congestion during peak times.
Under AT’s current proposal, the price of parking a car would increase from $10 a day, to $12. The price of parking with a trailer would nearly double in the summer months, increasing from $13 a day, to $24 in December and January and $15 a day for the rest of the year.
However the biggest increases are for people who lease parks year-round.
The price of leasing a space for a car and trailer would skyrocket from $350 a year to $2190 a year. But boaties would have the option of leasing a space for 10 months for $700, during the off-peak period between February and November.
Leasing a car space for a year would also go from $300 a year to $1120, or $370 for ten months.
The move is to discourage permanent parking during the busiest times and the changes would come into effect in July.
People with a holiday home on Kawau are also hard hit, but permanent residents only face a modest increase.
Currently 165 Kawau regulars have a concession card, paying $260 a year to park a car at Sandspit.
But under the proposal, homeowners who don’t live on the island full time would be charged $1080 for the full year, or $340 for the 10 off-peak months.
Permanent residents would only have a $60-a-year increase to $320.
There are about 68 permanent residents and a further 80 weekenders.
AT media relations manager Mark Hannan says fees have not increased at Sandspit since 2008 and the changes attempt to protect the rights of the Kawau Island residents while attempting to free up parking for visitors to the region.
“We are looking to use the pricing to discourage long term parking during the peak periods for all but Kawau Island residents.”
AT is also trying to cover costs of future maintenance work.
“Due to its position and environmental exposure the maintenance requirement of the carpark is among the highest of any Auckland Transport facility,” Mr Hannan says.
The carpark makes about $200,000 in revenue a year, but Mr Hannan did not respond to requests for the operational costs.
Kawau Advisory Committee member Lin Pardey made a presentation to Rodney Local Board last month and said the changes were unfair.
“No other reserve, park or boat ramp in Rodney charges for parking.
“AT have been told they need to make money from the parking lot, but there’s more to this than a downtown parking lot.
The proposed tiered fees for Kawau residents would divide the island.
“My neighbour lives in Auckland three days a week and on Kawau four days over the weekend. He pays rates for both homes, so why should he have to pay more than me to park at Sandspit?
“We agree there should be a price increase. But it should be our current rate, plus inflation and no tiered fees for part-time residents.”
The proposed fees could also have far reaching consequences for the local economy if it meant fewer people visited the island, she said.
The Board has opposed the proposal, however AT does not need the support of the board to implement the changes
Kawau residents are scheduled to meet with Auckland Transport this month.