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V8 supercar race traffic issues will be managed

MEDIA RELEASE
10 May 2004

High level of confidence V8 supercar race traffic issues will be successfully managed

Proponents of the proposed V8 Supercar street race in Auckland City are becoming increasingly confident Aucklanders can successfully manage traffic issues posed by the three-day event.

Auckland City today welcomed a report made to Transit’s board last week which notes full co-operation will be needed among Auckland’s local authorities and the roading agency to make sure the major traffic issues are well managed.

Transit’s report notes traffic management will need to be done on the same scale and as successfully as the region managed the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) conference in 1999 and it would be “perhaps churlish and opposed to regional development” for Transit to implacably oppose the event if this level of co-operation is achieved.

The chairperson of Auckland City’s Recreation and Events Committee, Councillor Scott Milne, today congratulated Transit for recognising its public duty to ensure every effort is made to mitigate traffic problems if the event goes ahead.

“We look forward to their unreserved assistance.

“The event’s promoters must do the same, at law. There is a massive amount of preliminary work going on now – involving some of the world’s leading traffic management experts – to make sure we have plans that work,” Mr Milne says.

Preliminary meetings had already been held with North Shore City and Transit officers. Traffic planners were also going to meet and work with Manukau and Waitakere cities.

“It’s early days yet. We haven’t even won preferred host city status yet. We expect to hear in the next week or so if the event’s owner, AVESCO, will give Auckland first shot,” Mr Milne says. “If we get the nod to have a go – we’ll need to knuckle down as a region, and nationally, to make it work.”

Mr Milne says it is extremely significant that Transit cites the successful management of APEC traffic as a benchmark for hosting the race event.

“APEC proves we’ve done it before. Auckland has proved that it can implement successful transport management strategies for special events. The city achieved a significant traffic reduction for Auckland’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the APEC conferences.”

Auckland City’s group manager of recreation and community services, Cameron Parr, says the proposed owners and promoters of the Auckland event, IMG, were using experts involved in the traffic planning for both the Sydney 2000 Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.

Mr Parr says successful traffic management would rely on comprehensive communications run continually for six months before the event.

This would discourage non-essential journeys around the area.

It would also

- inform people about how and when to make alternative transport arrangements around the event days
- encourage people to car-pool and use public transport services like buses, ferries and trains
- encourage CBD businesses to introduce alternatives for employees such as working from home, flexitime, or taking leave.

Mr Parr says preliminary work suggests the most affected travellers will be those travelling to and from the North Shore.

“Our initial planning indicates that peak hour Harbour Bridge traffic could be greatly reduced, if commuters used seats now available on the public transport system. A significant proportion of vehicles now using the bridge has one occupant. So car-pooling and park-and-ride schemes could help further reduce the traffic.”

Mr Parr says if Auckland wins preferred host status, it will launch a major consultation programme, in association with IMG, to reach every business, employee and resident who might be directly affected.

“We’ll manage those concerns one by one,” he says.

Mr Milne says he agrees wholeheartedly with Transit when it says the race has implications for regional development.

“I agree that this is not a time to be churlish. It’s a time to work together – and to come up with essential answers. We’ll do that. I expect that, together, we’ll have developed a significantly detailed traffic management plan by about August.

“Everyone affected will need to play a part to make it happen. I’m pretty sure they will – including all of those businesses and individuals who stand to benefit enormously from an event attracting up to 150,000 spectators and more than 100 million television viewers world wide each year it is held. We want the excitement – and the associated business – as part of Auckland’s future,” Mr Milne says.

Ends

Editor’s note: Copies of the report to Transit’s 6 May board meeting and a 7 May covering letter to Auckland City from Transit's CEO, received by Auckland City today, are available on request.

Ref: GC

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