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More time...Warren Park and Carolyn Wilson say extending parking to one hour will increase shopping time. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

Timaru retailers are calling on the Timaru District Council to extend free parking in Stafford St from half an hour to one hour.

Experience, a sub-committee of the Timaru CBD Group, was placed in stores for people to sign, and ended on Monday. The results are now being collated.

“A lot of people have been saying it’s not long enough at present,” Timaru CBD group chairman Nigel Gilkison, said.

“They can go into one shop but it’s not enough time to go into a couple.”

The petition is urging the council to give one hour of free parking between North and Sefton streets a six-month trial.

Warren Park, director of Camerons Clothing Company in the southern part of Stafford St, said extending the time would give people more of an incentive to come into town and shop in a more relaxed manner.

“In the southern end of Stafford Street half an hour is not enough for people coming from north Stafford St.

“I believe southern Stafford St is most affected. Up the north end there’s the Farmers’ car park, another above Kathmandu and there’s the Stafford Mall car park.

“We don’t have that.”

Carolyn Wilson, whose business Orlando Fashion is opposite Camerons, said most people coming into the CBD to shop were likely to head for the north part of Stafford St.

“The council should be supporting the retailers to keep retail alive.

“It’s clear people don’t come to town like they used to; we need to encourage them to shop.

“We’ve researched many towns in New Zealand and a lot have one hour parking; 30 minutes is only time to do one message.”

She said the public had been supportive of the petition.