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Wood Has Mandate To Change His Street Race Stance

George Wood Has Mandate To Change His Street Race Stance

North Shore Mayor George Wood now has a clear mandate from the public to give the 2006 Street Race Festival a green light, following today’s poll result that 83 percent of drivers will go out of their way to help make the race a success.

North Shore City is the only council in the Auckland Region that opposes the Street Race Festival and their only legitimate concern has now been emphatically answered, Mike Bitossi the North Shore representative of the Street Race Supporters Club said today.

People want the race and want their leaders to get on and help make it happen. You’d have to be totally deaf not to hear the roar of the crowd over this issue,” Mr Bitossi said.

Traffic management was the last major issue that needed to be publicly tested and the result clearly spells out that people will avoid traffic congestion and make alternative plans.

Mr Bitossi said the Street Race Supporters club would today launch a regional petition on the North Shore, which asks all councils and government agencies to work together to make the event successful.

“Our own polling showed huge support for the race on the North Shore and we want to motivate the normally silent majority to have their say and further underline the public feeling that seems to be ignored by North Shore Council at this stage.

“Common sense tells you that if you know two years in advance there’s going to be a situation that will cause delay, you will make other plans,” Mr Bitossi. “The Gravitas poll clears up a major concern for North Shore City and enables it to modify its stance.”

With 83 percent of drivers prepared to take avoidance options and one in five saying they won’t make their usual Friday morning trip will substantially reduce Harbour Bridge traffic during the peak hour rush to maintain normal travelling times, Mr Bitossi said.

The poll indicates a large number of North Shore people want to attend the event and that they will take all steps possible to avoid congestion by taking public transport to and from the race.

Mr Bitossi the traffic congestion caused by the Fanshaw Street closure for an accident this week could not be compared with the street race closure.

“People get caught in traffic jams, but when they know there’s a problem well in advance, they find another way around it.

“They get two years advance warning with the street race and lots of time to think about ways to avoid the area, or how to get there using public transport,” Mr Bitossi said.

Robert Van Heiningen from Alert Taxis said the poll result was an outstanding response from the public, but it came as no surprise for his company as he has seen similar traffic management plans around APEC and CHOGM conferences substantially reduce traffic.

“We were involved in these events and people responded to the appeal to stay off the roads. In fact it was one of the best times to be in the road because there was so little traffic.”

Mr Van Heiningen, whose company has joined the Street Race Supporters Club, said the festival would be an enormous bonus for Auckland businesses and an exciting event to be involved in for all Aucklanders.

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