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Extended tram route proposed

6 March 2008

Public views will be sought on a proposal to extendChristchurch’s Central City tram route.

The Christchurch City Council today adopted for consultation a proposed extension of the tram route via Oxford Terrace, City Mall, Manchester, High and Colombo Streets.

The extension of the tram route fits with the Council’s Central City Revitalisation Project, which is creating a vibrant, fun, exciting, safe and sustainable heart of Christchurch.

The Council has agreed that the draft 2008/09 Annual Plan will provide $550,000 for the cost of including tram rails in the current redevelopment of City Mall. This will mean that, should the extension go ahead following consultation, work on the two projects can be carried out in tandem, resulting in cost savings and less disruption to surrounding businesses, residents and pedestrians.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the planned extension of the tram route is part of the council’s continuing commitment to rebuilding the economy and infrastructure of the central city.

“The revitalisation of Christchurch’s Central City is a major project for the Council and a key component of the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy.

“Extending the tram route to pass through Oxford Terrace and City Mall, and reach the revitalising areas of High Street and the lanes is expected to boost the number of people visiting the heart of Christchurch, creating a busier, more exciting Central City,” Mr Parker says.

Principal Advisor Strategy and Planning Dave Hinman says the preferred route proposed by council staff is based on a safety audit, traffic review and services evaluation.

“Consultation will allow residents, stakeholders and businesses to have their say on the proposed alignment of the tram tracks and any other issues arising from the plan.

“Previous consultation, carried out when the City Mall revitalisation was being considered, revealed general support for the extension of the tram through the mall. More than 60 per cent of all respondents, including 63% of shoppers, 73% of business/property owners and 74% of workers, favoured the tram running through City Mall,” Mr Hinman says.

The proposed route would see the tram turn from its present route and travel south from Worcester Boulevard along Oxford Terrace. It would then travel east through City Mall and continue along Cashel Street, before turning right into Manchester Street and heading south for one block. It would then loop back up High Street and continue through the High Street section of City Mall before turning right into Colombo Street, running around the back of the Square and rejoining the current tram route behind ChristChurch Cathedral.

Consultation will now be carried out with the community and stakeholders on three fronts: general consultation will be carried out on the proposed route; a Special Consultative Procedure will seek to allow trams to travel through City Mall (currently a pedestrian mall, with limited service vehicle access); and through a funding inclusion in the draft 2008/09 Annual Plan.


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