Lincoln’s simmering car parking war has erupted again.
This time the battleground is two car parks outside The Famous Grouse Hotel in Gerald St – which have been taken away by the district council and replaced with yellow no parking lines.
The district council says they were removed to improve the safety of an adjacent pedestrian crossing, and the decision had the backing of the hotel’s manager.
But Lincoln Club president, Lynn Townsend, which operates the hotel, says that is wrong.
“If they’re [the district council] saying that The Famous Grouse Hotel concurred with taking two car parks away, that’s incorrect,” he said.
The district council said yesterday it has no intention of reinstating the car parks.
Mr Townsend said the manager’s meeting with the district council was “informal” where a number of options, including lighting, reducing speed or repainting the crossing, were discussed.
No “definitive conclusion” was made and the club was surprised and angered when the car parks were taken away.
Car parking in Lincoln has been a contentious issue for at least two years after the district council announced plans to reduce the amount of parking on Gerald St to make way for a cycleway.
Mr Townsend wants the two parks back, saying Lincoln “needs” every car park it can get.
“Do they [the district council] ever think about the impact on the businesses? It clearly doesn’t come into their thinking at all,” he said.
In June last year, the saga went to a new level when the Black Door Bar and Eatery was opened in Robert St.
The cafe’s owners put up tow away and clamping signs on off-street parking it believed was theirs.
They were later taken down after behind the scene talks with the district council. The cafe’s threats of legal action to enforce the signs did not eventuate.
District council road safety coordinator Peter Daly said the decision on the Gerald St crossing followed a “significant level” of concern from Lincoln residents in regard to pedestrian safety.
Selwyn Times has previously reported in the past five years to September there was one injury crash recorded in the proximity of the crossing with sunlight being a contributing factor. The district council would not say if there was an update to this number.
Mr Townsend said the district council purchased a section of land on William St for car parking about two years ago but it hasn’t developed it yet.
Mr Daly said car parking in Lincoln is subject of the Long Term Plan and the town will end up with “significantly more” car parks following the redevelopment of its town centre, including car parks in William St.