People’s Panel Survey on Central City Parking

The results of the survey were used to evaluate a free parking trial, which ran in the central city over the 2014 winter, and to assist Council to make a decision on future parking initiatives. The results of the survey were included with other data, such as parking occupancy, ticket numbers, pedestrian counts and retail spending.

The survey was conducted in September 2014 and there were 520 responses.

The key findings were:

  • When shoppers/visitors were asked what had the most influence on their decision to visit the city centre:
    • 40% said it was for reasons other than parking
    • 36% said it was the free parking
    • 14% said it was the availability of parking in locations that are convenient.
  • Most found it easy or very easy to find a car park.
  • Compared with last year, 26% said it was harder to find a park, 50% said it was about the same and 19% said it was easier.
  • Most people visited the city for about an hour.
  • Free parking meant almost half the people stayed in town for longer they previously would have. Most of the comments were about feeling less rushed, having time to browse or take a coffee break, and not worrying about getting a ticket.
  • Most central city workers usually park in free all-day parking on the city fringe or in private car parks but 13% usually park in short-term public parking.
  • Almost a quarter of workers said they had changed where they park during the free parking period in July and August, to park closer to work.
  • Most respondents (70% of workers and shoppers) thought 10 or 15 minutes was a reasonable grace period before a car is issued with a ticket.

Click here to download the full summary of this survey (118KB PDF).