Tit for tat in small town parking standoff

REMOVAL: Reserved car parking signs will be removed outside of 5 Robert St.

Lincoln’s car parking issues have taken another twist with painted reserved signs outside a line of shops now having to be removed.

The signs on car parks outside an Indian restaurant, Subway, hairdresser, dairy and coffee shop read ‘Reserved shops 5 Robert St’ were put in 12 days ago.

But the district council says the signs cannot stay as the shops do not have exclusive use of the car parks, which have 120min restricted parking signs on them.

Building owner Shaun Stockman told the Selwyn Times he had put in the signs as a response to clamping and tow away signs put up by the Black Door Bar and Eatery on the other side of Robert St in June.

He said the Black Door’s patrons were taking up the car parks outside the shops.

Those signs were removed several weeks ago. The district council ruled the Black Door did not have exclusive rights on the parks outside its premises. Mr Stockman said he had permission to put the signs in on the basis of a phone conversation he had with a duty planner.

However, the district council’s environmental services manager Tim Harris said the district council never gave permission for the signage.

The district council’s position is that no public car park can be reserved for private or individual retail outlets use without prior agreement with it, he said.

Said Mr Stockman: “I have since had a discussion with the district council and have agreed in the interest of everybody to remove them,” he said.

In the interim Mr Stockman was unaware the Black Door had removed its clamping and tow away signs.

The painter contracted had been waiting for a break in the wet weather and when that arrived he went ahead with the job.

The signs were to have been removed on Sunday but wet weather stopped it.

Mr Stockman said he reserved the right to put signage back in again if
any other business in the area decide to in the
future.

Lincoln businesses are worried about what the future holds after the district council approved removing 75 car parks on Gerald St as part of construction of a cycleway for the approved town centre plan.

In a bid to address car parking issues in the area, the district council purchased a property in 16 William St in July for off-street parking.

Mr Stockman said it is “absolutely crazy” to remove car parks on Gerald St for a cycleway.

“You will kill jobs, kill livelihoods, take the lifeblood out of the place and you will ruin it, absolutely ruin it,” he said.

A cyclist himself, Mr Stockman said he would rather cycle an alternative route such as North Belt than through the town centre.

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