Parking payment made easy

The days of scrabbling around for coins for the parking meter are set to become a thing of the past.

A new scheme will see older-style lollipop meters ditched in favour of a new ticketless system.

And a practice meter has been set up to help motorists get to grips with the arrival of a new Pay by Plate parking initiative.

Marlborough District Council’s parking sub-committee chairman councillor Brian Dawson says he wants people to be familiar with the new machines before they are rolled out across Blenheim.

“We want people to feel comfortable with the new system and we hope having a test terminal will help with that,” he says.

The new Pay by Plate system will see drivers enter their vehicle plate number and the desired parking time at the terminal.

They can then use coins or debit cards to pay for their parking.

A new ‘Pay my Park’ app will also allow drivers to top up or pay for their parking remotely.

Marlborough District Council projects and contracts manager Robyn Searle says you won’t need to go to a meter that’s near your park, instead, just pay at the first one you come across as you do your shopping.

If drivers need to move spaces, the new system allows people to move between kerbside parks and use unspent parking credit for that day.

Parking time limits and tariffs will remain the same.

Brian says the system is “really easy to use.”

“You just enter your plate number and time, press ok, pay, then walk away.”

Trained helpers will be on the street to assist for around a month after the new meters went “live”.

Implementation of the new system will be carried out in stages, with stage one starting in Queen, Market, Scott, Maxwell and High streets.

The project is expected to be completed by mid to late June, weather permitting.

Robyn says the old meters were getting vandalized “on a disturbing scale.”

“It’s well overdue. We have more and more going out of order.”

A maximum of $320,000 is budgeted for the new system which will see around 170 of the old meters replaced with 24 pay by plate machines.

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