Automobile Association concerned by Auckland Council's radical plan to remove parking on roads

The Automobile Association is concerned by Auckland Council's plan to remove parking on some roads across the city to make room for bus lanes and cycleways. 

Councillors are voting on the plan on Thursday which would see many residents lose the option to park on the road outside their homes.

Principal advisor at AA Martin Glynn said removing parking would cause issues for many inner-city residents. 

While the focus will be on arterial roads, Glynn told The AM Show the Council hasn't ruled out removing parking on other streets too. 

"In the short term there is a focus on arterial roads and that makes sense to us… but in a few years, we are talking about having the power to go down some of the residential streets where parking is a real challenge and just taking that away from residents without consultation. That's probably our biggest concern about the proposal."

Glynn said many residents rely on on-street parking if they flat or live in a new development. 

"It is really going to impact on a lot of people and overtime as the Government's national policy for urban development comes into play, which has removed minimum parking which means developers don't need to provide parking in new houses. Those residents - the vast majority of them can't live their lives without them so they are currently parking their cars on the street and they will have nowhere to go when this policy comes into effect."

The plan is an attempt to cut greenhouse gas emissions but Glynn said it could backfire very easily. 

"Arterial roads in Auckland are really crowded particularly as you get closer into the central city. So in those cases turning over parks to give a little bit more space to other modes really makes sense to us, in fact, it's a no brainer.

"The problem is this is a blanket policy - it's going to apply everywhere and certain places where a road lane might be given over to a bus lane or a cycleway, if there's not a lot of people using those lanes it is really going to backfire because you end up with a lane of traffic that is idling and waiting for a long time and spewing emissions."

Auckland Council isn't the only one considering parking changes. Let's Get Wellington Moving is also considering the option of a levy for public and private off-street parking. The levy would cost as much as $2500 a year to park in certain inner-city areas.