Proposed ban on light vehicles in Cathedral Square
23 September 2004
The Christchurch City Council is considering banning light vehicles from Cathedral Square after midnight to ensure that the squeal of tyres and noisy mufflers are not the only things tourists remember Christchurch for.
The ban is in direct response to a deputation to Council from Cathedral Square hotels that many of their visitors are being kept awake by cars racing past with modified exhaust pipes.
Given the approaching peak tourism season and the Council’s efforts to date to improve visitors’ experience of Christchurch, it has examined several options to resolve the problem, says Council Traffic Engineer Barry Cook.
The City Council can:
rely on Police to enforce existing laws (including vehicle-modification and turning bans already in place);
build barriers to stop any vehicle entering/exiting Cathedral Square from midnight to 5am, or
ban all cars (i.e. vehicles weighing less than 3500kg) from entering/exiting Cathedral Square from midnight to 5am.
Mr Cook says that relying on Police to enforce existing laws had, to date, had no impact on the problem and it compounded issues that the Council and central city businesses were trying to deal with in reviving the central city area.
Building barriers was impractical because of health and safety issues if there was an emergency, and the need for public transport to continue through the central city area.
He was proposing that the Council approve the third option, to ban all vehicles weighing less than 3500kg from using Colombo Street through Cathedral Square, between Gloucester Street and Hereford Street, and using Worcester Street through Cathedral Square, between Manchester and Oxford Terrace between midnight and 5am, Mr Cook says.
The only exceptions would be:
Owners or occupiers of buildings immediately fronting the banned route
Bona fide visitors to any building immediately fronting the banned route
Commercial passenger vehicles (including taxis and airport shuttles)
Service and emergency vehicles.
Occupiers and residents of Cathedral Square have been sent letters to inform them of the Council proposal and to canvas their views on the issue.
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