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Final work on Square set to get go-ahead

Final work on Square set to get go-ahead

Final work on Square set to get go-ahead The plan to finish the final roading work to Cathedral Square will be recommended in a report to the Sustainable Transport and Utilities Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, and if adopted will see work begin in June.

The plan for the northwest corner, between Worcester Street and Colombo Street, the final stage of the five-stage development plan for the Square, would see Worcester Street and the road through the Square converted into a one-way road from Oxford Terrace through to Colombo Street - traffic would only be able to travel eastward.

The plan has been open for an extended period of consultation and public hearings since July last year and attracted 83 submissions, with 55 per cent supporting the one-way road and 17 per cent against.

"We acknowledge some concerns about the road becoming one-way, but look at the success of the one-way portion of Oxford Terrace (outside the Strip) despite initial concerns of some businesses in the area. This has encouraged people to visit the restaurants and bars along The Strip. There is no reason why it should not be the same in Cathedral Square," says Denis O'Rourke, Chair of the Sustainable Transport and Utilities Committee.

The section of Worcester Street, from Oxford Terrace through to Colombo Street, can be converted into a one-way road without any significant disruption to the traffic flows in the city, according to the report.

Carrying some 1,900 vehicles each day, with almost two-thirds travelling in the easterly direction, the section of road is very different from the road east of the Cathedral that forms part of Colombo Street, which is an important traffic and public transport spine, carrying in excess of 7,000 vehicles each day.

The report also says that the one-way road would also provide a higher level of safety for pedestrians. On Worcester Street the changes would allow enough space to widen the footpath on the south side of Worcester Street (Holy Grail / Regent Cinema side). Trees would be planted in this section to reinforce the Boulevard concept and connect the streetscape from the Square to the museum.

The report to the Sustainable Transport and Utilities Committee is available on the website www.ccc.govt.nz/Council/Agendas/.

Background: To date, the redevelopment of the Square has been carried out in four stages. These have been:

* Stage one - Road and kerb line changes to accommodate the commuter buses. This work was carried out in 1998.

* Stages two and three - Changing of the road alignment behind the Cathedral and the paving on the eastern side of the Square with granite pavers. This was also carried out in 1998.

* Stage four - Paving the broad area in front of the Cathedral with granite pavers. This work was carried out in 1999.

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