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City needs more assurances on V8 race

City needs more assurances on V8 race, says Mayor

July 26, 2004

North Shore City's Mayor George Wood says he is not anti the V-8 street car race, but he does want more assurances that traffic can be managed effectively.

"I seem to have been branded as the anti-V8 mayor and I'm not. I'd like to see the race go ahead, but at present we are just not convinced that all the traffic effects have been thoroughly thought through and planned for. All the management issues have not been addressed in enough detail in our opinion. It would be irresponsible of our council not to raise this at the resource consent hearing and protect the interests of our residents," he says.

"We do not want to see unnecessary chaos and our city and region picking up the cost of that," he says.

Mayor Wood says North Shore City has recently received a number of detailed reports from Auckland City and race organisers on various traffic management issues.

"We're analysing those reports now to see where the planning is at - but we are still not convinced that what we need to see has been done. We need a level of detail and comfort around how and what level of public transport will be provided and at whose cost. We need to see more information on how are we going to deal with parking for park and ride and connections with ferries such as feeder buses. If we are going to transport more people by public transport, we need to see how that will be done."

George Wood says North Shore City has employed traffic management expert John Gottler of consultants Montgomery Watson Harza , who worked on the traffic management in Auckland for the APEC summit several years ago, to independently assess the traffic reports the council has received so far.

"We have talked to him about the kind of detailed planning that was needed to manage traffic for APEC and this kind of event - to keep things running smoothly. We need some assurances that the organisers realise the kind of measures that will need to be put in place - and the cost of those measures. We are also still concerned at the capacity of the network to cope with this kind of disruption. It appals me that Auckland City is still dragging the chain on the widening of the Victoria Park viaduct. That is a major bottleneck for our region - and that project has been stalled by the council."

Mayor Wood says attracting big events to the region is good for Auckland. "We don't want to stand in the way of the race going ahead. But at the same time, major investment in planning and transport management and infrastructure is needed to enable major cities to host big events like this - especially on key streets in the middle of our central business district. Otherwise it just turns all the economic benefits into costs for the locals. Transit still has some concerns and so do we.

"The race organisers are looking for some massive reductions in traffic volumes over this time. This isn't minor stuff - when you are looking for a 60 per cent reduction in some corridors. We need to know that what they promise can be delivered with the system we have in place at present - and what the costs of that will be - and who will pay," he says.

ENDS


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