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No decision on private vehicles using City Mall until after redevelopment

26 July 2007

Council Chief Executive Tony Marryatt will prepare a report for the Council’s meeting on August 2 asking the Council to rescind its decision last year for a one-way slow road through City Mall for private vehicles and bicycles.

“We need to clarify the current situation.  Our position is that the status quo on traffic use remains. Essentially the Mall is for pedestrians only at this stage. Service vehicles will be able to use the new service lanes before 11am and after 4pm. Emergency vehicles will also have  access to the Mall,” Mr Marryatt says.

Project City Mall has been on the council agenda twice this week. At a seminar on Wednesday councillors were updated on progress on the City Mall redevelopment. Today they approved the removal of the Stewart Fountain, the High Street Air Bridge and the amphitheatre to allow construction to start in early August.  

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says the redevelopment of the Mall is an exciting project that needs to go ahead as partof the Council’s many plans to revitalise the central city.

“We have listened to the public’s concerns about letting private vehicles use the service lanes. These lanes are already in the Mall design signed off by Council last year. The aim is to keep service vehicles on these lanes and prevent the current haphazard use of the Mall by these vehicles,” Mr Moore says.

“At this stage it is appropriate that the status quo on vehicle access remains until after the Mall is redeveloped. Once the Mall is redeveloped and if there is still a call for private vehicles to go through the Mall, the public will be consulted on whether private vehicles and bicycles can use the Mall.”

The service lanes are being built to a sufficient standard to carry heavy vehicles and emergency vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances.

Contractors expect to be on site in early August to start Project City Mall and the plan is to have stage one, around the Stewart Fountain at the Hereford Street end of High Street, completed in November.

Councillors were also briefed on the Council adopting an innovative way of managing Project City Mall. An Alliance team made up of representatives of the Council, the designer Isthmus and the contractors, Downer EDI Works, is managing the project. This team is working to a budget, with results firmly based on outcomes.

The new way of working will enhance collaboration, innovation and price certainty. It is a first for the Council to handle the delivery of a capital project in this way.

The Alliance has already made a number of decisions on construction materials to be used in the Mall. For example the bluestone pavers chosen are all  Timaru Bluestone. The team wants to support New Zealand industry as opposed to using imported products.






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