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Changes afoot . . . Gore District Council parking officer Virginia Carter (left) and senior regulatory officer Frances Shepherd discuss the new changes to the parking restrictions on Ardwick St outside the James Cumming Wing. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

New time-limits for how long drivers can stay in some central business area parks are about to be introduced.

The proposed changes were approved at the Gore District Council regulatory and planning committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

A report outlining the changes was tabled by senior regulatory officer Frances Shepherd.

In the report, Mrs Shepherd said now the library had been relocated to the James Cumming Wing (JCW) there was a need for guidelines as to how long people could park there.

“The area outside the JCW is currently unrestricted,” Mrs Shepherd said.

The changes would mean parking along the east side of Ardwick St from the wing to the Gore and Districts Senior Citizens Rooms would now have a 60-minute time restriction on them.

A loading zone would be created outside the entrance to the wing and three mobility parking spaces nearby would be added to the parking schedule.

On the south side of Bowler Ave outside the council buildings, 60-minute parks had been created where there had previously been free parking.

Other changes would be introduced on streets where nearby businesses had asked if parking restrictions could be considered.

“This is due to claims that people who work in town use these parks for the best part of the working day, due to there being current unrestricted parking status.”

The streets to be affected by this were Main, Mersey and Medway.

Two 10-minute parking spaces on Fairfield St had been changed to 60-minute parks.

Mrs Shepherd told the meeting this was likely to be the start of more changes to parking restrictions.

Cr Doug Grant asked if the restrictions by the wing would be permanent, given the library was being housed in the wing temporarily.

“The restrictions can be taken off at a later date,” Mrs Shepherd said.

Mayor Tracy Hicks said the proposed changes were a start to addressing parking concerns.

“I know there are a lot of people hanging out for these changes now.”

Cr Ralph Beale said he was aware travellers wanting to use the toilets by the trout sometimes could not find a park there because cars were parked there for long periods of time.

“Unrestricted parking outside those toilets .. is folly.

“People will take advantage of it and you will make it difficult for the travelling public to park there.”

After the meeting, Mrs Shepherd said now council had approved the changes she would order the street signs and have them installed.

“I hope that they’ll be done in the next couple of weeks.”

Once the signs were up, parking officer Virginia Carter would leave flyers, advising drivers the parking times had changed, on car windscreens.

“Then we have about a three-week lead-in period and then we’ll start enforcing them.”