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Free parking after school to help Nelson retailers, Winter Activation Fund launched

Nelson City Council has agreed to provide an additional two hours of free parking between the hours of 3-5pm, Monday to Friday, from 1 July to 31 October to help Nelson’s city centre survive a potentially tough winter season.

This effectively means parking in the city centre will be free from 2pm during this winter period because an hour’s free parking is already available and will continue throughout this temporary extension.

The idea came from retailer advocacy group Uniquely Nelson, which asked Councillors to consider the idea at the City Centre Business Forum.

In the longer term, Council recognised that a more substantial strategy for city centre retail is required in order for businesses to thrive rather than survive.

Nelson Mayor Nick Smith says winter is always a difficult time but with the national recession, sharp rise in costs and acute staff shortages, 2023 is going to be a tough time for retailers, cafes, bars and restaurants.

“We are investing big time in public transport and cycling but we need to recognise that the bulk of customers come by car and this afternoon free parking will help. There is no sense in Council having empty car parks while businesses struggle.”

Deputy Mayor Rohan O’Neill-Stevens, who chairs the City Centre Business Forum, says there’s a need to proactively enhance our city centre.

“We know there’s a need to support events and attractions within the city centre, to deliver a city centre that is a worthwhile space for Nelsonians to spend time, recreate, and enjoy. That’s why we’ve set up a $20k Winter Activation Fund for community-led events and projects. This fund will be administered by staff with the assistance of the City Centre Business Forum and Uniquely Nelson.”

“While this is a small step, and won’t stave off the economic challenges over winter, it will be a positive intervention, and through the forum we can make sure Council’s mahi aligns with what’s happening on the ground.”
When is parking free?

The temporary free winter parking means that parking is free from 3pm till 5pm – Monday to Friday, from 1 July 2023 until 31 October 2023.

Please note, parking is already free from 1pm on Saturday and all day on Sunday. Nelson City Council is also continuing the free parking for the first hour, this is in addition to the free afternoon parking.

What area does this apply to?
The temporary free winter parking applies to the city centre area, within the ring road formed by Collingwood, Halifax, and Rutherford Streets, and Selwyn Place.

Do normal parking time limits still apply?
Yes, for the parks with short duration parking limits such as P5 and P10. These carparks are designed for high turnover due to their proximity to certain services and we will continue to enforce these time limits.

Parking wardens will also continue to enforce other parking restrictions such as parking on yellow lines and clearways or parking without a valid warrant of fitness.

Do I still need to enter my registration number in a Pay-by-Plate meter or online?

If you are parking before 3pm please continue to register in the normal way. Meters will be turned off at 3pm so there is no need to register at the meter or online if you are parking after this time.

Click here to find out more…

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