The $114 Auckland Council Takeaway
One Aucklander is fuming at the Auckland City Council for costing him at least $114 for a takeaway coffee at the weekend.
It’s more proof – if we needed it – that the council’s proposed inner city night time parking meter changes are just another sham tactic to boost the council revenues, to hell with encouraging people to spend money on food and entertainment.
I came across disgruntled Sandringham Rd café customers at lunchtime yesterday who discovered their cars had been towed away in one speedy military style swoop while they were eating brunch or ordering coffee. The reason was of a towaway zone imposed near Eden Park because of a Sunday afternoon game.
The motorists bitterly complained that when they parked there after 10am that morning there were absolutely no signs on lamp posts warning them not to park there – and to be frank, I couldn’t see any in the relevant area when I walked past (see photo).
There was a warning sign much further down near Eden Park and the Kingsland railway station area. One protesting motorist said he had been told notification had been made in the fine print in the weekly council newsletter City Scene, which is hardly compulsory reading when you’re deciding to go out for brunch on a Sunday.
In all, about 12 cars from café residents got towed. At $110 each that’s not a bad five minutes worth for the council.
Those people also had the stress of finding their car gone, and had to arrange for taxis to get them to the city to claim their vehicle or find other ways to get there.
No-one should be immune from clearly defined towaway spaces but if the council really is just putting up special event warning notices a short time before the restrictions come into effect, this is scandalous. It should have plastered the area from first light and if any staff had any tiny bit of morality, they would have popped their head into the obviously busy café and given customers five minutes to move their car, instead of getting sick pleasure from the faces of customers who treked out to find their car missing.
Seeing that anger and bewilderment on people’s faces just makes me determined that we must fight these latest council plans to charge people at night in city parking meters. They’ve already experimented at the viaduct with such new hourly restrictions at night (left) so I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t already stockpiled signs ready to put up despite the “consultation” process about the changes.
Or maybe their cruel arrogance is such they won’t bother with signs and just come and police people and tell those complaining they should have read the public notice in City Scene.
(In answer to the query clarifying the location: The cars towed were between Ethel St and Shaw street going towards Eden Park opposite about 122 sandringham)
UPDATE: The council has now finally admitted there were no signs (follow thread of comments below)