A truckie stop on Leamington’s Cook Street has created a problem for Waipā District Council and after months of consultation and debate resulted in the loss of most on-road parking.
There are health and safety concerns coupled with considerable damage to footpaths and berms – and as a result only three parking spaces will remain on the portion of the street between the Victoria (high-level) Bridge and Shakespeare Road roundabouts.
But council transportation safety officer Julie Taylor told Service Delivery committee members it was only a matter of time before those three spaces go as well and businesses would have to prepare for that.
Cook Street has become a major arterial route through Cambridge for vehicles which are not suitable for the high-level bridge.
About 10,000 vehicles a day, including 1200 trucks, travel along the road. Committee chair Grahame Webber said one of the most popular stops, particularly for truckies, is Cafe 9.
While the cafe has customer off-street parking at the rear of its premises, those space are unsuitable for trucks.
Adding to the problem, vehicles parked all day in a council-owned car park opposite Cafe 9, Ms Taylor said in her report.
The existing shoulder parking on Cook Street was too narrow and it made parking unsafe and as a consequence more vehicles were parked partly on the berms and footpaths to keep out of the traffic flow.
She said because Cook Street was a designated major arterial route, traffic movement function took precedence over property access and parking.
Cambridge Community Board members have twice debated the issue of whether to remove on-street parking, deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk said.
“Doing nothing is not an option. It is a safety issue.”
Ms Stolwyk said she considered part of Cook Street, which included Cafe 9 and other retailers, was part of Cambridge’s central business district.
It was popular with cyclists as a transitioning stop, she said.
Ms Taylor said a recommendation to remove on-street parking supported the efficient movement of traffic and freight within Waipā District and the economy as it recovered from the effects of Covid-19 restrictions.
The committee opted to approve 120-minute parking restrictions to prevent all-day parkers. Parking could continue in nearby Burns Street.
A 120-minute time limit would remain for the three remaining on-street parks to maintain regular turnover of vehicles.