Over-80s can park free, longer within the CBD from April

Ashburton District Council is introducing special parking permits for drivers over 80 years old, allowing them to park longer in free parking spaces around the town centre.

The permits will come into force in April and will need to be displayed where parking wardens can see them. It means an over-80 driver parking in a 30-minute spot can stay for 60 minutes, and in a 60-minute spot they can stay for up to 120 minutes (two hours).

There will be no concessions for parks with time restrictions under 30 minutes or over 60 minutes, or in the Eastfield pay and display car park.

Council Strategy and Compliance Group Manager Jane Donaldson said the over-80 permit recognized that these older drivers sometimes needed a bit of extra time to park and move around the CBD.

“They will first have to come into Council and provide their details, but the permit process will be easy.”

Population data shows the district has 2200 people over the age of 80 years, although not all will be driving.

Council also provides designated mobility parks, marked in blue, for people with a mobility parking permit issued by CCS Disability Action. Those parks are for people who use a wheelchair, can’t walk any big distance or have a medical condition meaning they can’t safely get around.

Over-80 parking permit holders will not be able to park in mobility parking spaces unless they hold a mobility permit.

“Sometimes we have older drivers who do not meet the criteria for a mobility permit, but they do need just that bit of extra time to get around and shop in a more leisurely fashion.”

The over-80 parking permits will come into force in April and Council will advise when residents can apply.