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Parking mad at the airport

by Sarah Free
I went to the airport last Tuesday to collect my aunt, visiting from Seattle in the USA.  I spent a totally frustrating (and dangerous) 10 minutes circling narrow laneways, fruitlessly looking for a car park, witnessing near collisions as cars tried to turn into blind corners, and finally finding a car park at the remotest end of the upper level.

I was inwardly seething as I went to meet my relative. By the time I had found her, walked back to the car with luggage, run to the ticket machine (only one for the whole upper level),  back to the car, and then negotiated the slalom course to the exit, it had been just over 30 minutes and I was charged a cool $7.00.

It was embarrassing, to be honest,  to be welcoming someone to New Zealand’s capital city in such a manner.

Perhaps it’s not an extension we need, so much as a long hard look at what we already have. Because quite frankly, if I were to criticise the current city council for anything, it would be the way in which they seem to have lost all control of what is going on with the airport.

Did someone at WCC issue a resource consent for all of this? What happened to the city’s representation on the board? What will it take to get back two-way freely available vehicle acess along Stewart Duff Drive?

These are only some of the questions which need answers.

Sarah Free is an Eastern Ward candidate in the Wellington City council elections

Read also:
After midnight – and no taxis at the airport

14 comments:

  1. Peter Kennedy, 7. October 2013, 11:36

    For someone to want to represent the East, and then to claim to not know that Stewart Duff Drive has been one way for a number of years, is just mind blowing.
    Ian McKinnon was the city’s representative on the Board of WIAL, obviously key questions weren’t being asked of him.
    As for resource consents and codes of compliances, just ask the poor old home owners who got well and truly shafted by the Council and the Government when they were left holding “the baby” for the incompetence over ‘leaky homes’.

     
  2. Te Kupu Tamihana, 7. October 2013, 13:01

    But wait…for there will be MORE! I would expect in a 2-3 year timeframe that you will PAY $1-2 to drop people off. It is already happening overseas at airports. So as WLG Aiport (supported ineptly by the WCC) makes these changes, wait for that change. Eventually people will forget that you used to be able to drive in for free and god forbid even pick people up!

     
  3. NigelTwo, 7. October 2013, 13:05

    @Peter. What do you mean Stewart Duff Drive is/was one way? The other way (south to north) just had a slight detour via the airport terminal!

     
  4. Elaine Hampton, 7. October 2013, 14:32

    I agree with Sarah. I went to the airport to collect someone after dark last week. It was bizarre, channeled into the low visibility car park, into a dodgem course, orange cones sparsely placed, no readable signs, people driving into dead ends and backing out again, everyone on dead slow speed looking for a sign!
    We knew they were going to do this but the manner in which it has been done defies belief. Do they sit up in a tower laughing at us all?
    Questions do need to be asked.

     
  5. Peter Kennedy, 7. October 2013, 16:14

    NigelTwo – Stewart Duff Drive is the road that runs alongside the Miramar Golf Course, not the road that diverts into the Airport terminal for the drop-offs. Infratil have completely thumbed its nose at the residents of Wellington, and the Wellington City Council has sat obligingly by, saying nought.

     
  6. Barbara, 7. October 2013, 18:25

    Sarah. We experienced the same situation at the airport last Tuesday when I dropped my partner off at the upper level. Do read the article he wrote when he came back and tried to get a taxi out of the airport under Wellington taxis.

     
  7. Sarah Free, 7. October 2013, 19:44

    Peter, Once upon a time (not so long ago) Stewart Duff Drive used to be two way, before the airport decided that all northwards traffic (whether going to the airport or not), should divert up the ramp past the terminal building. It always seemed odd, but it still sort of worked. But in retrospect of course, it was all part of the master plan leading to the debacle we have today.

    WCC needs to figure out where its bargaining power lies, in order to get Stewart Duff Drive returned to a two-way freely available access road to and from the South Coast, and to demand a fair parking regime.

     
  8. Brenda, 8. October 2013, 7:48

    It’s always been a rollercoaster ride for cyclists heading south (north was better, but dodgems with taxis ensue).
    The footpaths swap from one side of the road to the other, meaning crossing that busy road, and through the chaos of the carpark. I live 600m from the airport, and would like to walk there, but no way in the chaos, with a 3yo in tow, would i navigate that. I end up getting a taxi for SIX HUNDRED METRES. Atrocious design for 2013.

     
  9. Stan Andis, 8. October 2013, 9:55

    It didn’t take long for cabbies to find out that the barriers were put in place as a source of revenue gathering. Now it’s the turn of the public. Once WIAL has monitored where all the vehicles are travelling to and from, it is my consideration that the 10 minute period of grace will be reviewed back to 5 minutes. After all, how else will the $5.1million cost of constructing this hideous blight on our environment be paid for? Wellington could well do without the WIAL barriers as an embracing “welcome to Wellington” gesture.

     
  10. Lyndsey Cree, 8. October 2013, 20:08

    All of the current state of affairs is a result when formerly publicly owned assets got sold off for short term gain. The monopoly monster can do what it likes (ie) spend money digging up the roads and then doing the same 2 or 3 years later and then again and again -.to hell with what the travelling public or local residents want. The useless supposed voice from the Council at the Airport company (at least he’s gone now) was a waste of time as we suspected he was going to be. What can be done to rid us of this debacle – well change on the Council and change of Government will probably be required. Wake up everyone!

     
  11. Peter Kennedy, 8. October 2013, 20:50

    What we’ve seen under the past 2 regimes – Kerry’s and Celia’s – is that the City’s representatives on the Board of WIAL have not been held accountable. Interestingly, many of the candidates in the local body elections are the same people who have sat and watched these developments and done nothing. No wonder Infratil has pushed the boundaries as far as it has – it knows the Wellington City Council is a toothless old draughthorse, without a backbone to stand-up on behalf of its residents. This needs to change.
    Peter Kennedy – Candidate for the Eastern Ward

     
  12. Nick Vause, 9. October 2013, 8:25

    A quick glance at nearby streets within 1km of the airport will show you that WIAL’s parking redesign has achieved very little for the average traveller. Miramar South Primary School is inundated with cars parked around its perimeter. Thankfully the council hasn’t started ticketing them. Yet.

    To all who need to pick up arrivals, simply use the upstairs drop-off. A quick SMS message to your friend, WIAL wont stop you from parking in that god-awful drop-off area. The taxi drop-off is handy too.

    Long story short? WIAL’s profiteering makes pickups and drop-offs absolute hell for everyone – even nearby communities. I don’t expect an extension of the runway to take into account anyone’s interests but their own.

     
  13. Stan, 9. October 2013, 11:08

    If WCC set up parking limits on Miramar streets, it can only be seen as favouring their partner. What about someone with enterprise constructing their own parking building nearby in opposition to WIAL? A shuttle service to and from the airport could be offered to customers. Wonder how that would affect the barrier charges?

     
  14. Marie Heff, 9. October 2013, 13:04

    This is a truly ridiculous situation, Infratil have unnecessarily created a chaotic, dangerous and inhospitable zone within our community all in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Councillors have heard the voice of their constituents and done nothing to protect our safety or well being. In fact they are encouraging the extension of this beast – rates rises and toll roads anyone?!