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ARC sees benefits of V8 race

ARC sees benefits of V8 race but key concerns still to be addressed

The Auckland Regional Council sees the potential benefits of the proposed V8 race, however the Council has a number of key concerns that it considers must be addressed in order for resource consents to be approved and the event to go ahead.

The ARC today presented their submission to the hearing panel, reiterating aspects of their initial submission and providing more detail on a number of key concerns – in particular the impacts the race will have on public transport services.

We consider the potential effects of the race on public transport are not yet clearly understood, and it is not possible to determine at this stage whether consents should be granted,” says Catherine Harland, Chair of the ARC’s Passenger Transport Committee.

“We are concerned that race promoters are relying heavily on public transport services to reduce the impact of the race on the travelling public when it is not clear whether or not there will be sufficient resources available at the time, or who will bear the additional cost,” Cr Harland says.

Since making its submission in late June, the ARC has received some additional information from Auckland City Council and IMG. However, the level of information that has been provided does not give certainty around the provision of public transport services and the associated costs.

The ARC has asked that the hearing be adjourned until further investigations have been undertaken and key concerns addressed.

The ARC today highlighted a number of issues that it considers need to be clarified:

• The ability for existing public transport services to cope with the numbers of people expected to be coming into the area, particularly on the Friday of the race.

• Demand for public transport services will be greater than at present, putting pressure on the ability of services to keep to timetables.

• The provision of bus lanes along key routes that would be under increased pressure such as Ponsonby Road.

• Some services, e.g. the Link, will not be able to operate on parts of their usual routes and drop-off points will have to change. This inconvenience could deter, rather than attract, passengers.

• Road closures in the central city will shift traffic to other local streets, such as Ponsonby Road, resulting in delays.

• Drivers will be needed for any additional services and it is unclear whether or not additional staff will be available for buses, park and ride facilities and additional ferry feeder services.

“The ARC already provides scheduled public transport services across the region, and we believe that regional ratepayers should not bear the additional costs of planning, promoting and providing additional public transport services,” Cr Harland says. “This extra cost must be covered by the event organisers”.

Earlier concerns regarding the potential for contaminants to enter the stormwater system have largely been addressed and the ARC is confident that work has been undertaken to ensure that any effects will be minimised.

The ARC is committed to working with Auckland City Council and IMG to work through the concerns it has. An ARC representative has been involved with the V8 Car Race Transport Advisory Committee to ensure that the Regional Council’s concerns are addressed.

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