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Illegal reserve carparking poses ‘threat to child safety’

Flagstaff Team

Illegal car parking at Milford Reserve has reached new highs with 67 vehicles counted on the grass and under trees on Auckland Anniversary Day, prompting calls for a crackdown.

“Locals are fearing for the safety of children using the area,” says Devonport-Takapuna Local Board deputy chair George Wood, who complained to Auckland Council about the influx. Fellow board member Ruth Jackson made the count around 5.30pm.

With another long weekend looming for Waitangi Day observance and crowds likely for America’s Cup yacht racing ahead, the co-chair of the Milford Residents Association, Norma Bott, this week wrote to the council calling for action.

“It’s just so frustrating,” she says. Since before Christmas a trickle of people parking around the rim of the reserve had raised concerns, but last weekend was a “disaster,” she said. “People think it must be alright, there’s one car there, and others just do it.”

Wood wants council parks officers to immediately clamp down on entry to the reserve. “How these people were able to get through the locked chain is a mystery and it needs to be sorted,” he said.

Bott said beachgoers needed to realise that “you stop, you drop, then you go park somewhere else.” More parking was available nearby.

She wants no parking signage first, and if that fails then enforcement of the regulations. The Observer approached the council and Auckland Transport for comment. The council had not responded by our deadline and AT said it only became involved if enforcement was delegated to it by the council.

This article originally appeared in the 5 March 2021 edition of the Rangitoto Observer.

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